Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of the parishes of Minchinhampton and Avening"

See other formats










































Forsan et hoec olim meminisse juvabit. 

Virgil A. 1, 203 







THE greater part of the following account of the Parishes 
which form the subject of this short History was 
contributed in monthly papers to the Minchinhampton 
Parish Magazine during the year 1913 and part of 1914. 
These intervals of writing caused the story I had to tell to 
be somewhat disjointed, and exigences of space also made 
it necessary to keep out a considerable amount of matter 
which should have found a place in the text. At the request 
of many residents in the two Parishes, I have collected 
these monthly parts, rearranging them, and including some 
additional facts which I had been obliged to omit. The 
Illustrations, which did not appear in the Parish Magazine, 
are also included, and will, I hope, add to the interest of 
the Book. 

I have always thought that some account should be 
written of every Parish, to supplement the County Histories, 
which can naturally only deal with main facts, and there 
is scarcely a Parish in England which does not possess some 
features of interest worthy of record. No connected story of 
the two Parishes of Minchinhampton and Avening has yet 
appeared, and it is with the hope of supplying this omission 
that I have ventured to publish this little History. 

I take this opportunity of expressing my indebtedness 
to many who have helped me in producing this book. My 
thanks are especially due to Mr Roland Austin for most 


kindly undertaking the labour of compiling the Index, and 
for reading and correcting the proofs. I desire also to record 
my thanks to Mr A. E. Dickinson, who most generously 
placed at my disposal his large collection of extracts relating 
to the history of the two Parishes, thereby saving me much 
labour and research, and to Mr and Mrs Sidney Webb for 
allowing me to quote from their " History of English Local 
Government," including " The Story of the King's Highway." 
To Mr Thomas Falconer I am indebted for rubbings taken of 
the Brasses in Minchinhampton Church, and also for a sketch 
of Dame Alice Hampton's Bell. To Mr A. E. Smith for kindly 
contributing his Paper on the Geology of the district, con- 
taining a great amount of information in a narrow compass 
My thanks are also due to Mr F. A. Hyett and Mr St. Clair 
Baddeley for much help and encouragement. 

The Illustrations are engraved by Mr Emery Walker, 
whose name is a guarantee for excellence of workmanship, and 
I am also indebted to Messrs Bellows for the careful manner 
in which the printing and other details of the Book have 
been carried out. 
















Introduction . . , . . . , . . . . . i 

Notes on the Geology of Minchinhampton . . 5 

The Roman Occupation . . . . . . . . 12 

The Two Manors at the Time of the Norman Conquest 16 
Minchinhampton and Avening under the Nuns of 


The Two Manors under the Nuns of Syon 

The Sheppard Family . . 


Minchinhampton Church 

Epidemic of Fever in Minchinhampton 

Monuments in Minchinhampton Church and 

Lady Alicia Hampton or Dame Alice Hampton 

The Rectors of Minchinhampton 

The Persecution of the Rev. Henry Fowler and 
other Clergy by the Puritans 

Avening Church . . 

Rectors of Avening 

Dr George Bull, Rector of Avening and Bishop 
of St. Davids . . 

The Town and Neighbourhood of Minchinhampton 115 

Minchinhampton Common 

The Trades of the District . . 

Ditto Ditto Ditto 

Ditto Ditto Ditto 
Minchinhampton Churchwardens' Accounts 
The Minchinhampton Vestry Minutes 
Highways and Roads . . 










L'Abbaye aux Dames, Caen . . 

The Syon Cope . . 

The Rev. Philip Sheppard 


,, ,, South Transept (interior) 

» (exterior) 

(interior, looking east) 
Brass of Edward Halyday and Margery his Wife 
Jacobus Bradley, S.T.P. 

Brass of John Hampton, his Wife and Children 
Dame Alys Hampton's Bell . . 
The Rev. William Cockin 
AvENiNG Church (exterior) . . 
„ ,, (interior) . . 

George Bull, D.D. 
The Rev. George Whitefield 
Martha Playne . . 
Spinning, Weaving, etc., in 1749 
William Playi^e . . 
East View of Longfords 
Spinning Mill at Longfords, 1914 
Weaving Sheds, Longfords, 19 14 
West View of Longfords 


facing page 21 

















inserted at 144-5 

facing 149 

,. 152 

., 156 

., 158 

.. 168 



THE two parishes of Minchinhampton and Avening have 
been so closely associated from early times that it is 
scarcely possible to separate the history of the one from that 
of the other. The two manors have been held together con- 
tinuously by successive owners from the Conquest to the early 
part of the 19th century, a period of nearly 800 years, and, 
therefore, I have thought that it would give rise to less confusion 
to give an account of both these parishes, whose history has 
been so intimately connected from earUest times. 

Though such close neighbours, each of the two parishes 
has its own distinctive features in situation and environment. 
The town of Minchinhampton stands on a broad plateau, 
which is a spur of the Cots wolds, upwards of 600 ft. above sea 
level, and overlooking the broad vaUey of the Severn to the 
Welsh hills beyond on one side, and on the other is the long 
range of Wiltshire hills, where on clear days the monument 
on the height above the town of Calne is to be seen. The 
ancient parish was bounded on the north by the little river 
Frome, which, rising in the Sapperton hills, flows through the 
" Golden VaUey," where the Great Western Railway now 
winds its way from Swindon to Gloucester, finally joining the 
broad waters of the Severn and giving its name in passing to 
Frampton and Framilode. It is bounded on the south by the 
Avening brook, which, flowing through what is now Longfords 
Lake, ultimately joins the Frome near Dudbridge ; on the 
east by the parish of Sapperton, beyond which is the town of 
Cirencester, the capital of the Cotswolds, and on the west by 
the parish of Rodborough, which was formerly part of Minchin- 


The village of Avening, on the other hand, lies in one of 
the lovely valleys which run from the Severn Vale up into the 
hills, each contributing its Uttle rivulet to swell the volume of 
the great river ; and, of all these valleys, that in which Avening 
is situated is one of the most beautiful. 

The parish of Avening is bounded on the north by the 
sister parish of Minchinhampton until it meets the parish of 
Woodchester at Inchbrook. It included part of the small town 
of Nailsworth, where it is squeezed into very narrow limits by 
the parishes of Minchinhampton and Horsley, but expands 
again on leaving the town and meets successively the parishes 
of Woodchester and Nympsfield on the west and those of 
Beverston, Tetbury and Cherington on the south and east. 

Both parishes were densely wooded in ancient times. In 
Minchinhampton, Gatcombe wood was considerably larger than 
it is now, much of the land on the high level ground having 
been brought under cultivation. Hazelwood in Avening parish 
is also smaller than it once was, some 300 acres having been 
cleared and cultivated, principally by Mr William Playne, 
senior. Hazelwood was part of a large forest which stretched 
over Horsley, Kingscote and Woodchester, and clothed the 
sides of the hills overlooking the Severn Vale far beyond the 
limits of our two parishes. There were occasional clearings 
and open country round the villages and at other points, as, 
for instance, at " Forest Green," now part of the town of 
Nailsworth, which still retains its ancient name. The pre- 
vailing trees in this forest were beech, though in suitable soil 
there was a considerable quantity of oak and also a certain 
amount of ash and sycamore. In modem times larch has been 
planted over a large extent, especially on the hillsides after 
the felling of the beech. The early foliage of the latter tree 
and its golden tints in autumn are most beautiful, and the 
winding road through the woods between Nailsworth and 
Avening with Longfords Lake below is justly famed for its 

The inhabitants of the two parishes have, as a rule, from 
early times been healthy, well fed and well housed. Work has 
been plentiful for those willing to do it, and wages, especially 
in the mills, have been good, and unemployment rare. The 
cottages are of the usual substantial Cotswold type, stone 
built and stone tiled, though I regret to say that brick and 


slate tiles are yearly coming more into evidence, and I fear the 
jerry builder is not unknown, though recent legislation has 
largely curbed his activities. Almost all cottages have ample 
gardens attached to them, and where this is not possible, 
allotments are easily obtainable. Taken altogether there are 
worse places to live in than within the bounds of the ancient 
parishes of Minchinhampton and Avening. 

Prehistoric Man. 

There are many evidences in both parishes of the very 
early existence of man, and though there are but few traces 
remaining of the earUest or palaeolithic man, he was, no doubt, 
an inhabitant of Britain when it was united to the Continent. 
But his remains have disappeared during the great glacial 
periods, which occurred in times so remote that we can form 
no conception of their extent or duration. Many of these 
glacial periods occurred when England, Scandinavia, North 
Germany and many parts of France were tight locked in 
Arctic ice, and man had to migrate to more genial climates. 
Professor Geikie says^ : "After the great mer de glace, which 
extended from Scandinavia to the plains of Germany .... 
had melted away, vegetation followed the retreating steps of 
the ice, and palseohthic man, accompanied by the Arctic mam- 
malia, wandered over Europe. As the chmate grew milder 
these latter migrated northward and were succeeded by the 
temperate and southern groups. This period of mild and 
genial winters passed away, but before it did so a large part of 
the British islands disappeared below the sea. As this sub- 
mergence continued the last glacial epoch began. The land 
again rose, and great confluent glaciers covered a large part of 
the British islands and Scandinavia. Eventually the ice re- 
tired and then Britain for the last time became continental. 
As years rolled on the sea again stole in between our islands and 
the Continent until a final severance was effected. From 
early neolithic times a gradual improvement and progress 
attended the efforts of our barbaric predecessors until at length 
a period arrived when men began to abandon the use of stone 
implements and weapons and for them to substitute bronze. 
And so, passing on through the age of bronze and the days of 
the builders of Stonehenge, we are at last brought face to face 
with the age of iron and the dawn of history." 

« " The Great Ice Age," pp. 552-554. 


Both parishes are rich in remains of neolithic man. His 
" barrows " or burying places, are plentifully strewn over the 
hiUs, as at Gatcombe, on Minchinhampton Common, and 
on the Copse at Avening ; and the remains of pit dwellings on 
the Common and elsewhere show the places where he lived. 
Many flint implements are found in the vicinity of ancient 
British camps, notably at " Rugger's Green," in the parish of 
Avening, where great quantities of flint weapons have been 
found and are still to be seen whenever the neighbouring fields 
are ploughed up. In addition to the tumuli there are two very 
remarkable monuments belonging to the Stone Age. One is 
a very fine monolith, locally called the " Long Stone," on the 
left hand side of the main road a short distance from Gatcombe 
Lodge entrance. It is 7I ft. high above the ground, and is 
said to be as much below the surface. It is a very fine block 
of the pecuhar stratum of the great oolite formation, locally 
called holey stone, which underlies the surface soil to a thickness 
varying from 6" — 18". Report says that the superstitious 
mothers were in the habit of passing ricketty children through 
a hole in this stone with the idea that they would by such 
means become strong. A much smaller stone of a similar kind 
stands in a wall about 30 ft. away, and a third is said to have 
been removed during the last century. 

There is a very remarkable tumulus a few hundred yards 
south of the Long Stone, which, on being opened in the year 
1870, was found to contain a sepulchral chamber 8 ft. long, 

4 ft. wide, and 5 ft. 6 in. high, with an entrance porch 3 ft. 
square and covered by a massive stone 9 ft. 6 ins. long and 

5 ft. 6 ins. wide. In this sepulchral chamber was found a 
skeleton in a sitting position at the farthest end. Another 
very interesting tumulus is also at Gatcombe, though in 
Avening parish, and is said by Mr G. F. Playne to be the only 
example in the district of a crowned barrow, having on its 
summit a very large stone which formerly stood upright, 
called the " Tinglestone." These and other remains show that 
this neighbourhood was a favourite place of residence for a 
considerable number of our early ancestors. 




By Alfred Edward Smith. 

<< \ 70SS0LS ! What be they, Wurr'ms ? " About 50 years 
V ago a searcher for geological specimens on a bank 
outside Balls Green Quarry, Box Common, Minchinhampton, 
was asked the above question by an old man who was curious 
to know what was being looked for. 

During the last half century geological knowledge has 
spread widely, but there may be still a few Minchinhampton 
parishioners left who might find it difficult to give even an out- 
hne of the geological formation of their district, and the object 
of these few notes is to assist them to do so. The abundance 
and variety of the fossils, and the interesting nature of the 
strata, render this parish one of the best in the County for a 
student of geology to commence his acquaintance with a most 
fascinating and useful branch of natural history. 

The Pioneer of the study of the local Geology was the late 
Dr John Lycett, who lived and worked at Minchinhampton for 
many years, and whose book on the " Geology of the Cotswold 
Hills," published in 1857, is still a foimdation work for all who 
seek to know something of the Geology of this district. Dr. 
Lycett spent much time in collecting and naming the fossils 
then found in the neighbourhood, especially in the Great 
Oolite Quarries on Minchinhampton Common, and he enriched 
the British Museum and the Cambridge University Museum 
with the results of his labours. 

Since his time the late Mr G. F. Playne, F.G.S., of Nails- 
worth, and the late Mr Edwin Witchell, F.G.S., of Stroud, have 
worked in the same district, and have contributed many 
valuable papers on the subject to the Proceedings of the Cots- 
wold Field Club. Mr Edwin Witchell published in 1882 a 


little work called " The Geology of Stroud," which, though 
based on Mr Lycett's book, carries local geological knowledge 
to more recent times. It is from Mr Witchell's work that 
the following outline sketch of Minchinhampton Geology is 
mainly derived, but Mr G. F. Playne's Section of the strata 
under Minchinhampton Common, printed with this paper, will 
be found of great assistance and will save much description. 

Looking at this Section it will be seen that any one standing 
near the centre of Minchinhampton Common has under his 
feet, until the level of the bottom of the valleys on either side 
is reached, four divisions or beds of rock, clay, and sand, in the 
following descending order : — 

No. on Thickness 

Section. about. 

7. Rock— Great Oolite (" Weather Stone," etc.) 100 

6. Clay— Fullers' Earth 70 

5. Rock — Inferior Oolite (Freestone, etc.) . . 180 

4. Sands — Cotteswold Sands 100 

Total .. 450 ft. 

The above figures are only approximate, as the beds vary in 

These four beds rest on the blue Upper Lias clay, the 
upper portion of which forms the floor of the Valleys at Nails- 
worth and Brimscombe. Both the two beds of rock, Nos. 7 
and 5, have many sub-divisions, but these latter are outside 
the limits of this chapter. 

Taking the four beds mentioned above in order, the chief 
feature of No. 7 (the Great Oolite) is the well-known Minchin- 
hampton-Common Building or Weather Stone, renowned for 
its strength and hardness, and its ability to withstand all 
weather. Some of its sub-divisions are full of fossils, and it 
was chiefly from the quarries on Minchinhampton Common 
that the late Dr Lycett obtained the many beautiful specimens 
which he supphed to the British and Cambridge University 
Museums, and a few of which are figured in Plate VI I. of his 
book on the Cotswold Hills. A letter of Dr Lycett's, dated 
13th February, 1843, to Mr W. Pearse, of Minchinhampton, 
asks the latter to take a small basket of fossils to the coach 
office and book it to Cambridge ; the basket was directed to 
" Rev. Professor Sedgwick, University of Cambridge." 



The following quotation from Mr E. Witchell's book, as 
to the origin of fossils, is applicable to the Great OoHte bed 
No. 7, and will give in a condensed form a reply to the question 
at the head of this Chapter — " What be they ? " 

" The Geologist, examining for the first time a bed of rock, 
' finds it composed mainly of fossils ; he sees that the strata 
' above and below are comparatively unfossiliferous ; he con- 
' eludes that he is looking upon the remains of a life-period 
' in the history of the earth ; that in the stratum before him 
' are the remains of once living creatures that existed in the 
' sea in which that stratum was deposited. He finds on 
' further investigation that many of these creatures dis- 
' appeared when the deposition came to an end and the con- 
' ditions changed, while some survived and passed into the 
' next formation ; that with subsequent deposits new species 
' appeared, something like the former, though not identically 
' the same, but occupying their place with those which had 
' survived, and so on through succeeding formations, thus 
' preserving the continuity of life and giving birth to the 
' multitudinous species that make up the earth's Ufe-history.' ' 

No. 6 Bed (the Fullers' Earth Clay) is of great importance 
to the parish of Minchinhampton, as without it there would be 
no water on the sides of the hills in this district ; the clay beds 
of the Fullers' Earth, however, retain and throw out in the 
form of springs on the sides of the hills the water which per- 
colates through the rocky beds of the Great Oolite. These 
springs are seen at Amberley, Box, Forwood, Well Hill and 
other places on about the same level ; in fact, but for these 
Fullers' Earth Clay Springs there would have been no such 
places as Amberley and the Box, because no houses would have 
been built so far from water. These high level springs are 
nearly pure, except from Hme, which makes the water hard. 

The old practice, now it is to be hoped discontinued, of 
draining the houses built on the Great Oolite into fissures 
(locally called " lissens ") of that rock, was a frequent source 
of the pollution of the wells and springs in the Fullers' Earth, 
and a great danger to the health of the public. 

In places this Fullers' Earth Clay has slipped down the 
sides of the valleys and covered the light soil of the Inferior 
Oolite below with a deep and more fertile one, so that in some 
hillside orchards the extent of the slip can be guessed by the 


increased size of the trees growing on the Fullers' Earth, com- 
pared with those growing on the lighter soil of the Inferior 
Oolite. At the same time these clay shps are highly dangerous 
to build on, as they are liable to move after a long spell of dry 
weather followed by heavy rain, and also in consequence of 
their base being cut into. An example of the former is the 
case of the first stone house built at the Highlands, and one 
of the latter occurred at Dyehouse Mills, when the Railway was 
cut through a Fullers' Earth SUp and started a movement 
which extended up the hill towards Amberley. This caused 
the downfall of a house just above the Railway, in which the 
late Mr G. F. Tabram then lived ; when it began he used to take a 
hatchet and saw to bed with him, to cut open his bedroom door 
in the morning after it had jammed in the night. These clay 
slips appear, from sections seen of them when cut across, to 
have been a succession of sUps one over the other extending 
over long periods. A modem small one, which took place 
about 30 or 40 years ago, can be seen on the Hazelwood side 
of the Nailsworth Valley, opposite Scar Hill. 

All the wells sunk in the Great Oolite had to go down 
through that rock until the clay bed of the Fullers' Earth 
which retained the water was reached, and in former days some 
persons for want of a little geological knowledge, lost all the 
water in their wells by thinking that they would get more by 
going deeper, instead of which they let the water out by going 
through the bottom of the Fullers' Earth bed into the stony 
and pervious rock of the Inferior Oolite below, which is bed 
No. 5 in the above List and Section. 

The most important and valuable portion of the Inferior 
Oolite is the Building Freestone, which is quarried by tunnel- 
ling into the side of the hill in galleries extending in some cases, 
as at Balls Green, for more than a mile. This stone is formed 
of small round egg-Hke grains cemented together and appro- 
priately described as Oolite from the Greek word don (egg), 
and lithos (stone), eggstone. In a cubic inch of freestone in 
which the grains are of ordinary size they have been estimated 
to number not less than 14,000. This fine-grained white free- 
stone is more adapted for the interior of buildings than the 
exterior. A few beds or sub-divisions yield stone which when 
properly dried before use will stand the weather, but the 


general character of the rock is too porous and absorbent of 
water for external use. The changes of weather in winter 
materially affect the walls of houses built of this stone, and 
occasionally, when a sudden change takes place, the inner sur- 
face of the walls becomes wet. The Balls Green Quarry before 
mentioned provided the stone for a great part of the interior 
work of the Houses of Pariiament, and lately a large quantity 
from this Quarry has been used in the construction of the new 
G.W.R. Station at Exeter. 

Above the Building Freestone are several beds of hard 
Ragstone, which have been extensively used for road stone 
and dry walling. 

The base of the Inferior Oolite rests on Bed No. 4, called 
the Cotswold Sands, sections of which may be seen on the 
Pensile Road leading from Nailsworth to Minchinhampton, at 
Holcombe Mill, and at the bottom of the Iron Mills Hill. 
These sands act as a filter for the water, which, by faults and 
shps gets through the three upper beds, and is then thrown 
out by the Upper Lias Clay at the base of the Sands. The 
water in these Springs is abundant and beautifully pure, it is 
not affected by sudden outbursts after continuous rains (as 
in the case of the Springs in the Fullers' Earth), but maintains 
its quantity and temperature equally in summer and winter. 
The water power of the Mills in the Valleys is mainly supplied 
by the springs from the base of these sands. 

The junction of the Cotswold Sands with the Upper Lias 
Clay is at Nailsworth, just 230 feet above sea level. The 
highest point on Minchinhampton Common is 680 feet, and the 
450 feet difference in height is made up by the thickness of 
the four beds above described. 

The Lias formation below the Valleys extends about 800 
feet down, and is, therefore, too deep a subject for the Umits 
of this paper. 

Many beautiful and interesting fossils are found in the 
Great Oohte and in the Inferior Oolite beds. There is a 
small but well-arranged collection of these, made by the late 
Mr G. F. Playne, in the Nailsworth Institute Reading Room, 
and when the Stroud Museum is completed, it is to be hoped 
that a representative Collection of the local fossils will be 
obtained for Exhibition and Study there. 


On this subject the following words by the late Mr Edwin 
Witchell, F.G.S., written in 1882, may be a useful reminder to 
those concerned : — 

" There is no known place in Europe in which the Great 
" Oolite is so fossiliferous as in the vicinity of Stroud, and yet 
" the Geologist has to go to distant towns to see the fossils 
" obtained from this locality. It is hoped that this state of 
" things will not be of long continuance." 

In conclusion the writer hopes that the above scanty out- 
line of Minchinhampton Geology will be sufficient to show that 
some Httle knowledge of local Geology may be both useful 
and interesting. 




THE first attempt to conquer Britain was made by Julius 
Caesar, who landed with a small force on the coast of 
Kent in the year 55 B.C., but owing to the opposition of the 
inhabitants and the scattering of his ships by a severe storm, 
he did not penetrate far inland. During the following year he 
came again with an army of 30,000 men, and advanced some 
distance into the interior, defeating a few tribes and receiving 
the submission of others. But after a stay of about two months 
he left the country and returned to Gaul. After an interval 
of nearly 100 years the final conquest of Britain was under- 
taken by the Emperor Claudius, who landed on the south coast 
with an army of 40,000 men. Being called back to Rome, 
Claudius handed over the command of the expedition to a dis- 
tinguished general, Aulus Plautius, who was the real conqueror 
of Britain. There are many evidences of the presence of the 
Romans in the district in which our two parishes lie, and there 
may be still a villa to be discovered in Gatcombe Wood or 
Hazelwood. On altering the course of the old pack-horse road 
leading through Hazelwood, a Roman votive altar was found, 
and is now in the possession of the Avriter at Longfords. It is 
in excellent preservation, and has a figure of Mars with shield 
and spear cut in bold relief upon it. 

Even before the conquest and occupation by the Romans, 
there had been considerable intercourse between Britain and 
the Continent ; Roman settlers had already begun to make 
their homes in Britain and the ancient inhabitants had by this 
means become considerably more civilised. But it is not 
within our province to go deeply into the history of the Roman 
Conquest and occupation, and we can only glance at a ievc 
facts affecting our immediate subject. 


There is no doubt that Gloucestershire played a part in 
the Roman scheme of conquest and colonisation. The many 
beautiful villas within the county, notably at Woodchester, 
Chedworth, and Witcomb, prove that it was a favourite place 
of residence for the wealthy Romans. Besides being pleasant 
as a home, the county was also strategically most important 
on account of the broad waters of the Severn and the steep 
escarpment of the Cotswolds, both river and hills being easily 
defensible against the incursions of the wild tribes of Wales. 
The main military road from Corinium (Cirencester) to Glevum 
(Gloucester) passed through the present site of Minchinhamp- 
ton, and often must the celebrated 2nd legion under Vespasian 
the lieutenant of the general Aulus Plautius, and afterwards 
Emperor, have passed, in stately march, from Corinium over 
what is now Hampton Common down into the valley to the 
banks of the Severn. 

The Roman occupation lasted until about the end of the 
4th century, when there was a gradual withdrawal of the 
garrisons, every man being required for the defence of Rome. 
Many Roman settlers still remained, chiefly in cities such as 
Silchester, but central government ceased to exist and a 
period of anarchy ensued. Moreover, by the Teutonic conquest 
of Gaul, Britain became isolated and exposed to piratical raids 
in the south and to incursions by the Picts and Scots in the 

The Saxons and the Danes. 

Unfortunately, the Saxon chronicles are vague and con- 
fused and it is difficult to fonn a clear conception of events 
from the end of the Roman occupation until a short time 
before the Norman conquest. There is specially little to be 
recorded as to our two parishes until the first Danish invasion. 
The following passage relating to Minchinhampton is taken 
from Bigland's Gloucestershire : — 

"A very furious battle was fought in A.D. 628 between 
Penda King of Mercia and his rebellious sons Cynegils and 
Cwichelm near Cirencester ; nor are there vestiges of Saxon 
entrenchments nearer than these {i.e., on Minchinhampton 
Common). In succeeding centuries the Danes when landing 
on this side of the Severn proceeded to higher grounds, marking 
their progress by the most cruel devastation. In one of these 
predatory incursions in A.D, 918, during the reign of Edward 


the Elder, it is recorded in the Saxon Chronicle ' that the in- 
habitants of Herefordshire rose in arms, and, being joined by 
those of Gloucestershire, they fell upon the Danes, and after 
a bloody battle put them to flight with the loss of Harold, 
one of their leaders.' Edward is said to have encamped on 
this side of the Severn, and, although the name ' Woeful 
Dane bottom ' may be allusive to some fatal overthrow of 
the robbers, the other bulwarks must have been necessary to 
protect the inhabitants from their frequent attacks, of which 
they lived in constant dread." Thus far Bigland. 

The legend of ' Woeful Dane bottom ' has been further 
embelHshed in more recent times and firmly believed in. 
According to the most popular version the Danes are said to 
have marched by the " Daneway " and were met by the 
Saxons at Woeful Dane. The slaughter of the Danes was so 
great that the blood came up over the fetlocks of the Saxon 
horses. I am sorry to throw doubt on so picturesque a legend, 
but the " Daneway " has nothing to do with the Danes, and is 
simply " Dene-weg," the valley way. With regard to Woeful 
Dane, Mr St. Clair Baddeley says : " Dane is a not-uncommon 
transformation of * Den : ' Anglo-saxon * dene : ' a valley ; 
the prefix probably stands for the personal name ' Wulff- 
laed.' The complete form would thus be Wulfflaed-dene- 
bottom.i " 

There was a large Danish garrison at Cirencester, and it is 
reasonable to suppose that they would not have neglected so 
advantageous an outpost as that afforded by Minchinhampton 
Common. In 894 a decisive victory over the Danes was 
gained by King Ethelred at a place supposed to be Tidenham, 
at the junction of the Severn and the Wye, and, in consequence 
of that victory, this part of Gloucestershire become free from 
these marauders, though the Danes were not finally conquered 
till about the year 925. 

There is an interesting Saxon Charter connected with the 
parish of Avening, which until recently included Nailsworth, 
preserved in one of the Cottonian MSS. in the British Museum, 
of which the following is a translation : — 

" In the name of the Holy Trinity. Since the Apostle 
says we brought nothing into the world nor can we take any- 
thing out ; therefore, on account of this I, Athebald, King 

I " Place-names of Gloucestershire," p. i66. 


of the Southern Saxons, considering the shortness of my hfe 
and that with these perishable things are to be purchased the 
eternal kingdom of heaven, and being asked by the venerable 
Bishop Wilfred, I grant in perpetuity most wiUingly the full 
right of possession to the Church of the Holy Apostle Peter 
within the City of Worcester, woodland to the extent of three 
cassates {i.e., a house with land sufficient to maintain a family) 
of wooded country in the place called in the ancient speech 
Woodchester, with these ordained boundaries : on the north 
Rodenbeorg (Rodborough) ; on the east Smiccumbe (Thees- 
combe) ; on the south Senedberg (Sugley) ; Hardanleag 
(Harley wood) Neglesleag Minor (Little Nailsworth) ; on the 
west Haesburgh and Haboucumb ; " the two last names may 
be Hazelwood and Holcombe, but the points of the compass 
do not agree. 




IN the reign of Edward the Confessor, the Manor of Minchin- 
hampton was held by Goda, wife of Eustace Count of 
Boulogne, and sister of the King, in whose possession it re- 
mained till the Norman Conquest. It was then confiscated, 
and a few years later given to the Convent of the Holy Trinity 
at Caen, called " L'Abbaye aux Dames," which had recently 
been founded by Queen Matilda, WilHam at the same time 
founding the Church and Monastery of St. Etienne called 
" L'Abbaye aux Hommes ;" also at Caen. The following is 
the Deed of Gift translated from the original Latin. 

" Whoever, for the benefit of the Holy Church of God, 
any portion of his own things has bestowed, in the 
Heavenly Kingdom by the highest Retributor, we by no 
means doubt shall be recompensed. Wherefore, I, 
William, King of the English and chief of the Normans 
and the Cenomani,^ together with my wife Queen Matilda, 
daughter of Baldwin Duke of Flanders, and niece of Henry, 
most illustrious King of the French, do give and for ever 
concede to the Church of the Holy Trinity which, for the 
salvation of our souls, we have jointly built in the territory 
of Caen, these underwritten Manors with all their apper- 
tenances as free and quiet as they were in the last days of 
King Edward's life — namely (in England) Felsted in the 
County of Essex, Hampton and Pinbury in the County of 
Gloucester, Tarrant in the County of Dorset. This 
chapter we confirm on both sides by our authority and by 

< The Cenomani inhabited the duchy of Maine, which was conquered and annexed by William. 


that of our Bishops and Grandees in the year of our Lord 
1082, by declaration due on the condition that, if anyone 
shall dare to encroach on or take away anything, he shall 
be cut off from Orthodox Communion and incur the 
wrath of Almighty God." 

signum Willelmi Anglorum regis 
signum Comitis Roberti Moritonii 
signum Lanfranci Archiepiscopi 
signum Matildis reginae 
signum Roberti Comitis filii regis 
signum Wacheli episcopi 
signum Henrici filii regis signum Henrici de Ferieres 
signum Willelmi de Bracosa signum Edwardi Vicecomes 
signum Stigandi episcopi signum Hugoni de Pertu 
signum Alani Comitis signum Rogerii Bigot 

signum Willelmi de Varenna signum Hugoni Comitis de 
signum Rogeri Comitis de Cestra 


This was a cheap gift of William's, seeing that these 
manors had been taken without payment from their Saxon 
possessors, as in the case of Hampton, which, as already 
mentioned, formerly belonged to the Saxon Countess Goda. 
It is perhaps permissible to doubt whether he will ultimately 
be recompensed in the manner he desired for this gift which 
cost him nothing. 

The Manor of Avening formed part of the vast possessions 
of the great Thane Brictric, son of Algar, who was descended 
from the Saxon Kings. As the story goes he fell under the 
displeasure of Queen Matilda, whose hand in marriage he had 
refused when Ambassador at the Court of her father, Baldwin 
Duke of Flanders. This insult she is said never to have for- 
given, and she appears to have persuaded her husband to dis- 
possess Brictric of all his lands, and, amongst others, of the 
Manor of Avening, which was transferred, together with Minchin- 
hampton, to the recently established Convent of Caen. I have 
not been able to discover the original Deed of Gift of the Manor 
of Avening, but it is reasonable to suppose that it was granted 
about the same time and on the same terms as the Manor of 
Minchinhampton. Of the subsequent history of Brictric we 
know little. He was arrested at Tewkesbury, where he 
formerly had large possessions, but how long he remained in 


prison is not stated. After the death of Matilda a small portion 
of his estates was restored to him by the Conqueror at the 
dying request, it is said, of the Queen, whose belated repent- 
ance was respected by William. 

Domesday Book. 

It is interesting to notice that Gloucester was the birth- 
place of the Domesday survey. In a witan, or Grand Council, 
held in Gloucester at Christmas, 1085, where we are told, 
King William wore his crown, the idea of a general survey 
was first debated. A previous partial survey had been made 
by Alfred the Great, but this was quite out of date. And, 
indeed, it was high time for an enquiry to be made. The 
country was in a deplorable state of confusion, starvation and 
misery, owing chiefly to the ruthless destruction and spolia- 
tion by the Norman invaders, and by the heavy taxation 
imposed by these pitiless taskmasters. 

Writing of this Conference, in his valuable Analysis of 
the Domesday Survey of Gloucestershire, the Rev. C. S. Taylor 
says : — ^ 

" No doubt all this was carefully considered at that Christ- 
mas Tide gathering (more than eight centuries ago) ; there were 
giants in the art of Government in those days, and it is difficult 
to know which we ought to admire most in the scheme which 
they devised, whether the grandeur of its conception or the 
magnificent powers of organisation which were displayed in 
its fulfillment." 

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us that " The King 
sent his men all over England, into every Shire, and 
caused them to ascertain how many hundred hides of land 
it contained and what lands the King possessed therein, 
what cattle there were in the several Counties, and how 
much revenue he ought to receive yearly from each. He 
also caused them to write down how much land belonged 
to his Archbishops, to his Bishops, his Abbots, and his 
Earls, and, that I may be brief, what property every 
inhabitant of all England possessed in land or in cattle 
and how much money this was worth. So very narrowly 
did he cause the Survey to be made that there was not a 
single hide nor a rood of land nor — it is shameful to relate 

' Transactions of the B. & Gl. Arcbseolog, See, 1889. 


what he thought it no shame to do — was there an ox, or 
a cow, or pig passed by that was not set down in the 
accounts, and then all these writings were brought to 

The Commissioners who visited Gloucestershire were 
Remigius Bishop of Lincoln, an able and powerful Prelate, 
Henry de Ferrieres and Walter Giffard both of whom fought 
at Hastings, and Adam fitz Herbert, Steward of the Royal 
Household, and right well they did the work entrusted to them. 

The following extracts from Domesday Book relate to 
our two Manors. : — 

The Manor of Minchinhampton included that of Rod- 
borough and is stated to have contained 4940 acres, of which 
3480 were cultivated, 1440 were wood, and 20 meadows. It 
was valued at £28. There were 32 " Villeins ; " 10 " Bor- 
darii ; " and 10 " Servi " or Serfs, and one Priest is also 
mentioned. The distinction between these three classes of 
inhabitants is very interesting, but space will not allow us to 
say much on the subject. Roughly the Villeins were small 
landowners or farmers and freemen, the Bordarii or Cottars 
(from Latin borda, a cottage) were also free except that they 
had to do a certain amount of work for their lord. The lot 
of the Servi or Serfs was the hardest of all. They passed with 
the land from owner to owner, and had but Uttle personal 
freedom, though from self-interest they were given a sufficiency 
of food to keep them in health. The most cruel incident of 
serfdom was the practice of selling them as slaves to places 
far distant from their homes, and, I regret to say that the 
citizens of Bristol were pre-eminent in this horrible traffic, 
and dreadful stories of the slave markets are quoted by Mr 
Taylor in his Analysis of the Domesday Survey. To his 
honour, be it said, St. Wulstan, Bishop of Worcester, came 
and Hved in Bristol, preaching against the iniquities of the 
slave traffic. In the life of St. Wulstan it is said : " You 
might have seen with sorrow long ranks of young persons of 
both sexes and of the greatest beauty, tied with ropes, and 
daily exposed for sale." This traffic was illegal before the con- 
quest and stringent laws against it were made by the Normans, 
but the trade was so profitable that it fingered on for many 
years, notwithstanding the heavy penalties imposed for its 


It is recorded in Domesday Book that Brictric had a Park 
and enclosure for beasts of the chase at Old Sodbury and a 
" Hawke's Eyrey," or breeding place for hawks at Avening. 
The Manor of Avening is stated in Domesday to belong to the 
King, though it was probably given to the Abbey of Caen 
about the same time as that of Minchinhampton. It contained 
an area of 4320 acres, consisting of 2880 acres of cultivated land 
and 1440 of wood. There were 24 Villeins, 5 Bordarii and 30 
Serfs, but no priest is mentioned. The value of the Manor is 
stated at £27 — of course, equivalent to a much larger sum at 
the present day. Pennebaria (Pinbury) in the Parish of 
Duntisboume Rouse, the Manor of which is held with that of 
Avening, is mentioned as belonging to the Abbey of Caen, 
and a smith (there are only two mentioned in Gloucestershire) 
is stated to have lived and held land on the estate of the Nuns 
of Caen. The Manor of Avening also included those of Aston 
and Lowesmore. 










THE two Abbeys at Caen, L'Abbaye aux Hommes and 
L'Abbaye aux Dames were founded respectively by 
William and Matilda by way of penance for having married 
within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity in defiance of 
the Papal Council of Rheims. The relationship of William 
and Matilda was so remote that the Pope, Gregory VII., 
was probably influenced more by political than by moral 
considerations. At any rate, the needful dispensation was 
given by Pope Nicholas II. in 1059, and the two Abbeys were 
founded shortly after. 

L'Abbaye aux Dames with which we are more nearly 
concerned, was founded in 1066, and was richly endowed by 
William and Matilda. The Nunnery was for ladies of noble 
birth, and the Abbess had the title of " Madame de Caen." 
The first Abbess was Cecily, the Conqueror's eldest daughter, 
and the annual revenue of the foundation amounted to 30,000 
livres. The Abbey Church remains a noble and stately monu- 
ment of the piety of the Founders, and perhaps we may draw 
a discreet veil over the methods by which it was endowed. 
The body of Matilda was buried in the centre of the Choir, 
but the Tomb was rifled in later years by the Huguenots, and 
her remains were scattered. They were, however, collected 
again and replaced in the Tomb, which was restored in 1819, 
and the original inscription was also replaced. 

Hampton now became Minchinhampton, or Nun's Hamp- 
ton, the prefix being an old word signifying a Nun.^ 

t " Minchin '' represents the Middle English rendering of Anglo-Saxon Mynece, MOnecbene — 
The Nuns' Hampton. — "Place-names of Gloucestershire," p. 109. 


We do not hear much of the doings of the Nuns until some 
time after the Conquest. No doubt the two Churches of 
Minchinhampton and Avening were being built by them or 
by their influence. Avening Church, fortunately still retains 
much of the ancient Norman work, but from that of Hampton 
it has practically entirely disappeared. In the 13th century 
contentions arose between the Abbot of Cirencester on the one 
part and Beatrix Abbess of Caen on the other, which were 
ultimately settled on these terms : — 

" The Abbess and Convent agreed for themselves 
and their successors, that the Bailiffs of the Abbot and 
Convent twice every year should come to the said manor 
to hold view of Frankpledge^ in the Court of the Abbess 
and Convent, according as they have been accustomed, 
before the said contentions, to wit, about the feast of St. 
Martin and Hockday,^ so that the view of St. Martin may 
be holden about the feast of St. Andrew and the view of 
Hockday about Pentecost, upon reasonable summons of 
the Abbot's bailiffs ; these baihffs to be entertained with 
their horses and three Servants in the Court of the Abbess, 
at her cost, as usual before these contentions. The Bedel 
also of the Hundred of Longtree, if he should come with 
the Abbot's bailiffs to Hampton at the said two days, to 
be honourably received and lodged ; the said bailiffs to 
receive also, for the use of their lords, from the Abbess 
and her successors, by the hand of her bailiff, every year, 
at each view, besides their hospitality, half a mark for all 
amerciaments, belonging to the said two days view of 
Frankpledge (pleas and attachments of the Crown, which 
could not be discussed in the Court of the Abbess, ex- 
cepted) ; all fines and Amerciaments of the above two 
days to remain with the Abbess in consideration of the 
above half mark and hospitalities." 

Fresh contentions of a similar nature, relating to the 
Manor of Avening, arose between the Abbot of Cirencester 

« Frankpledge was a pledge or surety for freemen. The ancient custom of England for the 
preservation of public peace was that every free bom man at the age of i6 (in some manors 14) 
years of age, clerics and knights, and their eldest sons excepted, should find security for his fidelity 
to the King or else be kept in prison ; whence it became a custom for neighbours to be bound for 
one another to see each man of their pledge forthcoming at all times to answer the transgression of 
any man absenting himself. This was called frankpledge, and the circuit commonly consisted of 
10 or more households. This custom was strictly observed, and the Sheriffs in every county 
did from time to time take the oath of young men as they grew up and see that they combined in 
one dozen or other ; this branch of the Sheriff's duty was called " view of frankpledge." 

3 Hockday, or Hocktide, was an ancient holiday celebrated on the second Monday and Tuesday 
after Easter Sunday. 


and the Abbess of Caen in the reign of Henry III., and these 
were settled in the following terms : — 

" That if it happens in time to come that any of the 
men, tenants, resiants or bailiffs of the said Abbess and 
Convent of Hampton, Avening and Pinbury, with their 
appertenances in the hundreds of Cirencester and Long- 
tree, shall be impleaded or inquieted, and on the part of 
the said Abbess, a Court of the Abbess may be asked for, 
according to the Common Law of the land, it may be 
granted ; and if it happens that any plaint, or want of 
petition in the Court of the Abbess in the hundreds afore- 
said, may remain to be pleaded or determined, every of 
the said men, tenants, resiants or bailiffs of the said 
Manor, according to the Common Law of the land, to be 
amerced shall give for the amerciament only dd. Also 
the steward of the Abbess for the time being before the 
said Abbot or his bailiffs, in the said hundred, to be im- 
pleaded or inquieted unless he may be called to warranty, 
or by personal transgression, or by precept, may not 
henceforward be compelled ; and if the steward pro 
tempore, at the time of the complaint or distress, shall 
be absent 20 miles from Cirencester, the Abbot and Con- 
vent of Cirencester grant for themselves, successors and 
bailiffs (as much as in them is), that it shall be lawful for 
the said steward pro tempore, to appoint his attorney by 
his letters patent in the said pleas and inquietudes and 
if in any manner he shall be amerced in the said Hundred, 
he shall give only (id. for the said amerciament ; but the 
said Abbess by no means shall be compelled to come nor 
to answer in the said places, unless she shall be present, and 
when she shall come there and shall be amerced she shall 
give for the amerciament 6d." 

Yet another dispute arose about the year 1170 between 
Thomond Abbot, Theoksbury (Tewkesbury) and the Nuns of 
Caen concerning the presentation to the Church of Avening. 
This contention was also amicably settled, the Nuns paying 
20 marks to the Abbot. It is difi&cult to determine in these 
quarrels whether the Abbots were trying to bully the Nuns or 
whether the ladies were claiming more than was their due. 

In the reign of Henry II. extensive grants were made to 
the English Manors of the Abbess of Caen of sac and soc 


(husbandry services) team and toll, the strange right of " in- 
fanguentheof "^ and all dues in the borough and without. In . 
the 4th year of Richard I. (1193) the Nuns appear to have 
been apprehensive of some encroachments on their rights in 
the two Manors, as we find this entry : — 

" Joan the Abbess and the Convent of the Holy 
Trinity of Caen paid one mark that it might be written in 
the Great Roll that William de Felstade claimed in the 
Court of our Lord the King, for the aforesaid Abbess and 
Convent, Hampton and Avening and Lowesmore and 
Eston (Aston) and Pendeby (Pinbury)." 

Aston and Lowesmoor were, and still are, included in 
the Manor of Avening. 

About this time there is an interesting letter addressed 
apparently to the Abbess on the destruction of the Abbey 
woods, showing that the theft of wood was practiced in very 
ancient times : — 

" The men of Avening say that its woods, namely, 
Wilverding and Hazelholt (Hazelwood) and RaUingsdene 
(? Rowden) and Westgrove are destroyed on their oaths 
to the value of sixty marks over and above the tenants' 
right for wood for their houses and hearths ; and when 
Simon took over the vills, 1000 swine could feed on them, 
but now only 500. The men of Hantone say, on their 
oaths, that the destruction amounts to 60 marks, and 
that 2000 swine could be fed, but now not 1000 — and 
this destruction was wrought by Charcoal burners* and 
by sales." 

The custom followed by all the eariier Kings of England 
of taking into their own hands, during war, all the emoluments 
of manors held by alien foundations, creates some confusion, 
especially during the reigns of Edward HI., Henry V., and 
others, when wars abroad were very frequent. Thus Thomas, 
of Gloucester, Hugh Waterton and Catherine, his wife, and 
others held the two manors to farm during the wars. Probably 
these were hard times for the tenants, as those who undertook 

■ Infanguentheof or more properly Infangthef or Infangtheof is compounded of three words, 
the preposition "in," the Anglo-Saxon words "fang" to catch and "Thef " or "theof " a thief. It 
signifies the right of the Lord of the Manor to catch, judge and probably hang any thief taken 
within his fee. The Abbess maintained a gallows for the two Manors, but I do not know where it 
was erected nor is there any record of a criminal suffering on it. 

» Charcoal burning was practised up to quite recent times, and the writer remembers to have 
seen the huts and the fires on the Copse in the Parish of Avening. 


to farm the rents of the Manors would naturally get as much 
as possible into their own pockets during their tenure, whereas 
the rule of the Nuns was far more indulgent. They were 
satisfied if the Firmarius, or bailiff, remitted a reasonable 
amount to his employers. 

The Manor of Rodborough formed part of the Manor of 
Minchinhampton, and, in the reign of Edward I., it is described 
as a hamlet of Minchinhampton held by the Abbess of Caen. 
In the 33rd year of Edward IIL it was held of the Abbess by 
an ancient family called de Rodberge or Rodbourge in soccage 
by 20s, per annum and the service of guarding her treasure 
from Minchinhampton to Southampton. 

There is but little more to record as to the connection 
between our two Manors and the Convent of Caen, yet we get 
occasional glimpses which seem to show that they kept in 
close touch with their English possessions. The following 
are extracts from the " Memoires de la Societe des Antiquaires 
de Normandie : " — 

" JuUenne Abbesse de Sainte Trinity de Caen fait un 
accord en 1237, ^vec Guilleaume Mael de Hampton au 
sujet de di verses redevances qu'elle reclamait sur les terres 
qu'il possedait en Angleterre. 

" Roger de Salinges, recteur de I'eglise de Hampton 
en Angleterre consent a faire un echange de terre avec 
I'Abbaye de Sainte Trinite contre un acre de terre situ6 
dans le grand champ de Hampton." 

Except for the interruptions mentioned above, the two 
Manors remained in the possession of the Nuns of Caen till the 
year 1415, when an Act of Parliament was passed permanently 
confiscating for the use of the King all buildings and endow- 
ments belonging to foreign ecclesiastical foundations, and thus 
the Nuns ceased to have any further interest in their Gloucester- 
shire possessions, which they had held for no less than 333 
years. There was some reason for this confiscation, as it was 
a common practice for the owners of the Alien foundations to 
cause their baihffs to collect all the money they could raise 
and send it to the foreign head Houses, where it could be used 
by the King's enemies during war. Though confiscated for 
the King's use the endowments were mostly given to existing 
ecclesiastical foundations or used for building and endowing 
new ones. 


In the year 1213 Minchinhampton became a town, the 
Abbess of Caen having in that year purchased the privilege of 
a weekly Market and two Fairs, which were held, according 
to the modem calendar, on Trinity Monday and the 29th of 
October, and this right was subsequently confirmed to Lord 
Windsor by Queen Ehzabeth. Hampton Fair was regularly 
held until recent times, and the writer remembers often to 
have seen the cattle and horses in the streets. Fresh regula- 
tions were made in 1825, but both Markets and Fairs have now 
disappeared, owing to the competition of the larger Markets 
served by the Railways, and giving greater facilities both to 
buyers and sellers. But at least they have a remarkable 
record, having existed for more than six and a half centuries, 
and having brought considerable prosperity to the town and 
neighbourhood during that long period. 




OUR two manors now passed, with many others, into the pos- 
session of the great Bridgettine foundation of Syon Abbey, 
though, as was commonly the case with the confiscated endow- 
ments, they were subject to a grant for Uves by the King 
before becoming the absolute property of the foundations to 
which they had been allotted. Thus in the case of the manors 
of Minchinhampton and Avening, William de la Pole, Earl of 
Suffolk, and Alice, his wife, were their owners for life, and the 
Abbey did not come into full possession of them till the reign 
of Henry VI. 

Before saiHng on his expedition to France, which ended so 
gloriously with the victory of Agincourt, Henry V., by his 
first will, dated July 24, 1415, bequeathed to the foundation 
1,000 marks in gold for the building of their house, the value 
of the site of which is stated at ;^i 13s 4^ p. ann. The founda- 
tion stone of Syon Abbey was laid by Henry himself on his 
return from France, in the presence of Richard Clifford, Bishop 
of London, and a charter dated February 22, 1415, according 
to the calendar then in use,^ was also granted to the com- 
munity. This Charter decrees that it shall be founded " under 
the name of S. Saviour and S. Bridget of the order of S. Augus- 
tine, and that it shall be so called throughout all succeeding 
ages." By the same charter the Bridgettines of Syon are 
bound " to celebrate Divine Service for ever for our health- 
ful estate while we Uve and for our soul when we have de- 
parted this life, and for the souls of our most dear lord and 
father, Henry, late King of England, and Mary his late wife, 
our most dear mother." 

I According to the old calendar the year began on March 3sth. 


The monastery was most liberally endowed by its Royal 
Founder, and soon attained to great wealth and influence, 
many privileges being granted to it. Amongst others, is a 
quaint bequest of " four tuns of wine of Gascony to be re- 
ceived yearly from the wines of us and of our heirs in the port 
of the city of London, by the hands of our Chief Butler, at the 
feast of S. Martin in winter." In the year 1432, eighteen years 
after its foundation, Henry VI. granted permission to the 
Abbess and Convent of Syon to remove to a more spacious edi- 
fice which they had built on their demesne in the parish of 
Isle worth. The new monastery was built of stone brought 
from Caen, whether from sentiment or whether it was the best 
that could be obtained, does not appear. It was brought 
regularly by the ship " Mary of Caen," of 80 tons, which was 
given safe conduct by land, sea, and river in all parts inland 
and foreign subject to the King's dominion. 

The nuns, as already mentioned, were of the order of 
S. Saviour and S. Bridget, and went by the name of Bridget- 
tines. S. Bridget was born in 1302 of wealthy and influential 
parents, and, having been compelled at an early age to marry 
Ulf, Prince of Nericia, she became the mother of eight children, 
one of whom was also canonised under the name of S. Catherine 
of Sweden. Bridget's saintly and charitable life soon made 
her known far and wide over the north of Europe, and she also 
gained great religious influence over her husband. They 
eventually, however, separated by mutual consent, he be- 
coming a monk in the Cistercian Abbey of Alvastra, in East 
Gothland, where he died in 1344. 

S. Bridget was now free to undertake the great work of 
founding the new order to which she devoted the remaining 
years of her life. She died in Rome, July 23, 1372, at the age 
of 71, and was canonised eighteen years after her death by 
Pope Boniface IX. (Tomacelli). In founding the new Order, 
S. Bridget was greatly aided by her daughter, S. Catherine, 
and the community soon attained to a high position and 
became famous throughout the whole of the north of Europe. 
It was visited by Philippa, sister of Henry V., immediately 
after her marriage to Eric, King of Norway, Sweden and Den- 
mark, in 1406. Amongst others in her train when she made 
this visit was Henry third Lord Fitzhugh, Lord of the Bed- 
chamber to Henry V., who, becoming greatly impressed with 


the sanctity of the Order, determined to introduce it into 
England. He accordingly offered to settle his manor of 
Hinton, near Cambridge, on a colony of the order, if one were 
sent over, and, on its establishment in its new home, he sup- 
ported it most generously from his private purse, and at his 
death left £20 a year for its maintenance.^ 

The Bridgettine foundations consisted of 85 persons 
answering to our Saviour's 13 apostles, S. Paul included, and 
72 disciples ; they were represented by 60 nuns or sisters, 
whereof one was Lady Abbess, 13 priests, one of whom was to 
preside over the men as Confessor General, four deacons, 
representing the 4 Doctors of the Church (Ambrose, Augustine, 
Jerome, and Gregory), four lay sisters as kitchen maids for the 
nuns, and four lay brothers for similar services to the monks 
and to be generally useful about the place. The nuns and 
monks lived in separate courts divided by the Abbey Church, 
which was common to both, the nuns during the services 
being behind a grille in such a position that they could see the 
High Altar. The monks were to sing the Divine Office, and 
the nuns the Office of our Lady, according to the Bridgettine 
rite. The men were to sing their part first and the sisters 
after they had finished. They had also to rise during the night 
for Matins and Lauds. The rule of S. Bridget was a severe 
one, additional fasts, besides the ordinary ones ordained by 
the Church, being enjoined. The bedding was of straw, but 
the bolster and pillow might be covered with linen, and two 
blankets were also allowed. The dress for the nuns, as also 
for the Abbess, was of grey serge, " which must not be gathered 
or pleated, but cut straight and plain — all for profit and 
nothing for vanity." Over the black veiled whimple, or coif, 
there is a distinctive coronal of white linen strips in the form 
of a cross with 5 red cloth patches to typify the Crown of 
Thorns and the Five Wounds, and a grey mantle is also worn. 
The lay sisters wore a white maltese cross with 5 red circles 
on the left shoulder of the mantle, and the monks also wore a 
cross on their habits over the heart. Each nun wears a 
signet ring, which is a facsimile of that worn by S. Bridget 
after her husband's death. The present Lady Abbess is the 
59th in succession, and their Office is exactly identical, both 
in words and in chant, with that used by their predecessors at 

' It is interesting to note that Sir Maurice de Berkeley, of Beverston Castle, married Laura, 
daughter of this same Lord Fitzhugh, and another Sir Maurice, son of the above, held the manor of 
Chelteoham on lease from the nuns of Syon. 


Isleworth. The Abbess was Principal over both the men and 
the women, and had the management of the revenues derived 
from the endowments and from the industry of the nuns. 
Silence was strictly enjoined at meals and at other times 
except during certain specified hours. The table of signs to 
be used during these periods of silence is very quaint. Two 
examples will suffice : " Fyshe — wagge thy hand displaid 
sidelings in manner of a fissh taill." " Mustard — hold thy 
nose in the upper part of thy right fist and rubbe it." 

In the year 1426, the first stone of a new Monastery 
Church was laid by John, Duke of Bedford, Regent during 
the minority of Henry VI., in the presence of the Bishops of 
London and Winchester. In 1444, King Henry granted to 
the Abbess in frankalmoign,^ or tenure by Divine Service, 
the manor of Minchinhampton, parcel of the possession of the 
alien monastery of Caen. The nuns did not come immediately 
into the income of their property, and this seems to have been 
their first entry into full possession of their estates. 

During the short period in which Henry VI was restored 
to the throne, the nuns, apprehensive, no doubt, that their 
possessions might not be safeguarded in these troublous times, 
petitioned for confirmation of their rights, and, during the 
year 1492, a complete survey of all their estates and pos- 
sessions was made. This survey disclosed the fact that they 
owned no less than 40 manors and the tithes of 30 parishes, 
besides many other possessions, the whole amounting to 
£2,000 p. ann., a very large sum in those days. In this survey 
we come across the mention for the first time of the manor of 
Avening, though it presumably came into their possession at 
the same time as the manor of Minchinhampton. Avening 
is stated to be worth £29 is 4|^ p. ann., and Minchinhampton, 
included in the same survey, is valued at £91 is 2ld p. ann. 
In yet another survey, made just before the dissolution of the 
monasteries, mention is made of lands and tenements lately 
of the Lady Alicia Hampton amounting to £g 4s ^d. 

Nunneries were often places of refuge for females in time 
of war, and at the time of the Norman Conquest, many Saxon 
women took the black veil of nuns as a safeguard from the 
licentiousness of the conquerors. Afterwards, when they 

' "They which hold in frankalmoign are bound of right before God to make orisons, prayers and 
other Divine services for the soul of the grantor." Ency. Britt. 


wished to return to society, it was ordered that those who had 
taken refuge for this reason and did not wish to remain as 
nuns should be absolved from their vows and allowed to leave. 
Convents were also places of education for young women, 
many of them daughters of the nobility, up to the time of their 

The time had now come when all monastic institutions 
were suppressed and despoiled of their possessions, and thus 
the long connection between our two manors and the Church, 
which had existed for 500 years, ceased, and they passed from 
ecclesiastical into secular hands. In the year 1534, Henry 
VIII. having thrown off the papal authority, caused a general 
valuation and visitation of ecclesiastical foundations to be 
made by the notorious Thomas Cromwell, who was appointed 
Vicar General and vice-regent of the King. The Abbey of 
Syon, amongst others, was surrendered to the King's Com- 
missioners in 1539. This was during the term of office, as 
Abbess, of Agnes Jordan, who was elected in 1531, and had 
practically spent her whole life at Syon, as the name occurs as 
a sister in 1518. It must have been a sad day indeed when 
the Abbess and the community looked their last on the home 
they had loved so well and where all their religious life had 
been passed. Pensions for life were given to the nuns and the 
monks who took the oath acknowledging Henry as Head of 
the Church. Some of the monks, but very few of the nuns, 
conformed and accepted the pensions, which, except in the 
case of the Abbess, did not err on the side of generosity, as 
the full sisters received £6 yearly, and the lay sisters £2 13s ^d. 
Many of the monks who refused to conform were hanged, 
drawn and quartered, and amongst others, " the Angel of 
Syon," Richard Reynolds, who was drawn to Tyburn on a 
hurdle, and there suffered the barbarous penalty with all its 
horrible details. Part of the remains were placed on a pillar 
of the gateway of old Syon Abbey, and when they finally left 
England, the nuns actually carried the cumbrous capital 
through all their wanderings, and it is now preserved at Syon 
Abbey, at Chudleigh. 

The Abbess, Agnes Jordan, was one of those who had not 
the strength of mind to remain stedfast, but eventually con- 
formed and received the highest scale pension of £200 a year 
as a reward for her conformity. But perhaps it is not quite 


fair to blame overmuch those who had not the strength to 
resist in this terrible time of persecution and destruction of all 
CathoUc institutions ; and it is a greater wonder that so many 
remained stedfast than that a few found the trial too great 
to bear. 

Whatever may be said against the monasteries at the time 
of the Reformation — and some was true, and much was 
exaggerated — they had at least served a useful purpose in 
their day. They had kept ahve learning and hterature which, 
but for them, would not have survived the wars and chaos 
of the Middle Ages, and they fostered rehgion and respect for 
law. They were pre-eminent in charity, and, as we have seen, 
nunneries protected women who, but for them, would have 
passed their hves in misery and dishonour. No doubt some 
of the monasteries were not all they should have been, and 
perhaps they had to a great extent outhved their usefulness ; 
yet we must remember that it was necessary for Henry VIII. 
and his aiders and abettors to find or invent causes of offence 
in the monasteries to justify the wholesale spoHation of their 
possessions. But the history of the Reformation belongs to 
the history of England, and we must pass on to events more 
immediately relating to our two manors. 

It may not be uninteresting to add the names of the 
Abbesses of Syon from its foundation to the time of its final 
suppression in England : — 


Matilda Newton 


Dorothy Graham 


Joan North 


EHzabeth Gibbes 


Matilda Huxton 


Constantia Browne 


Margaret Ashby 


Agnes Jordan 


Bridget Walgrave 


Catherine Palmer 


Elisabeth Muston 


Clementina Tresham 

The last two were probably appointed by Queen Mary 
during the short reinstatement of the nuns. 

The subsequent history of the Bridgettine nuns of Syon is 
most interesting. On August ist, 1557, ^^ the last year of 
the reign of Queen Mary, the nuns who had fled to the Bridget- 
tine convent at Termonde, in Flanders, were recalled to England 
by Philip and Mary, on the petition of Cardinal Pole, who had 
visited them in their foreign home. Their former convent 
was restored to them, but it was shorn of its grandeur, and the 


endowments were very different to those which they had 
formerly possessed. The Abbess who succeeded Agnes Jordan, 
and who had brought back the remnant of the community to 
England, was Catherine Palmer, who died soon after their 
return, and it is interesting to notice that the Prioress was 
Margaret Windsor, the sister of Lord Windsor, who now 
owned the two manors of Minchinhampton and Avening. 
Every effort was made by the brother to induce his sister to 
conform, but she remained stedfast and went into exile, sub- 
sequently returning with the rest on their short restoration. 
At the time of the dissolution the seal of the monastery was in 
the custody of sister Agnes Smyth, who is described as a 
" sturdy dame and wilful." She absolutely refused to give 
up the seal, which was taken away by the nuns, and is now, I 
believe, preserved at Chudleigh. 

The restoration of the community to their former home 
was very short-lived, as in the following year the death of 
Mary and the accession of Elizabeth compelled the nuns once 
more to flee to Termonde. Here they remained four years 
and in 1563 the Spanish Regent placed at their disposal a dis- 
used monastery on the Zuyder Zee, in a damp and unhealthy 
situation. After a time, sickness compelled them to leave 
these surroundings, and, through the generosity of an exiled 
Catholic, they were established in a house at Mechlin. After 
remaining at this home for seven years they had again to 
escape from Lutheran hostility owing to the Netherlands 
revolt, and it is pleasant to be able to record that in their dire 
extremity, after being plundered of all their possessions, they 
were rescued by some English Protestant officers serving in 
the army of the Prince of Orange, who, at the risk of their lives, 
escorted their countrywomen to Antwerp. 

On several occasions they sent members of the community 
to soHcit alms, but they received only persecution and im- 
prisonment instead of the help they went to seek. Space will 
not allow us to follow their further wanderings, how they fled 
to Rouen, suffering starvation, poverty and misery ; how 
these dauntless women under their Confessor Father Foster 
sailed down the Seine on Good Friday, 1594, and how, after 
suffering further imprisonment and robbery, they embarked 
on board a ship bound to Lisbon, and, narrowly escaping 
capture by pirates on several occasions, they eventually reached 


the mouth of the Tagus on May 20, 1594. Thus, after 37 years 
of dangers, privations and wandering, they found rest at last. 
Novices began to arrive from England, the convent continuing 
to be, as it has always been, a purely English community. 
They were not, however, to escape without further misfortunes. 
On May 24, 1628, Father Foster, who had been their guide and 
Confessor through all their wanderings, died, to their great 
grief ; and in the year 165 1 their convent was destroyed by 
fire, and they were once more homeless. Through the gener- 
osity of the King of Portugal the buildings were restored, but 
the terrible earthquake of 1755 again laid it in ruins. By 
earnest appeals to English Catholics, they were enabled 
to re-build their convent, where they remained in peace 
till 1809. The outbreak of the Peninsular War caused further 
misfortune to the nuns, their convent being taken by Wel- 
lington's troops as a hospital for the wounded. Nine of the 
sisters, headed by the frightened Abbess, Mary Theresa Hal- 
ford, decided to return to England, and, unfortunately, they 
took with them most of the valuables belonging to the order, 
amongst them being the famous Syon Cope, one of the most 
beautiful specimens of ancient needlework in existence. Mis- 
fortune dogged the steps of this party, and they eventually 
died out. But they had been obliged to part with all their 
valuables to save themselves from starvation, and their last 
possession, the cope, was given to the Earl of Shrewsbury, who 
had generously come to their rescue. On the death of Lord 
Shrewsbury, the cope, after passing through other hands, was 
finally purchased for the nation, and is now in the South 
Kensington Museum.^ 

Meanwhile, the minority left at Lisbon were accommodated 
for a time at an Irish Dominican convent, and, on the restora- 
tion of peace, they returned to their old home. Finally, owing 
to the anti-rehgious laws in Portugal, which forbade them to 
receive novices, the remaining sisters, eleven in number, re- 
turned to England in 1861, and, after living for some years at 
Spettisbury in Dorset, they found a resting place at last at 
Chudleigh, in S. Devon, where, by the benefactions of English 
Catholics, the house in which they now reside was built, and 
also a beautiful church adjacent to it. Thus, this most 

I The Syon Cope was purchased for the Museum in 1864. It is late 13th. century work and is 
in excellent preservation. Its main features are scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin, and 
figures of St. Michael, and other Angels with six wings standing on wheels, and also figures of the 










interesting Order, the only pre-Reformation community in 
England, and which has existed for 500 years, has found peace 
at last, and all who admire courage, constancy and devotion 
will wish them a long and prosperous future. 

After the final confiscation of all monastic endowments, 
the two manors, together with the advowsons of the livings, 
after being held for a few years by the King, were, in 1543, 
granted by him to Andrew, ist Baron Windsor (so created 
Nov. 3rd, 1529), in exchange for the Manor of Stanwell, in 
Middlesex. There was a payment to the Exchequer of 
£2,197 5s 8d, and a reserved rent of £8 14s od for Minchin- 
hampton, and £2 8s ^d for Avening, including Aston and 
Losemoor. The Manor of Pinbury Park, under the name of 
Pinboume, was also transferred to Lord Windsor at the 
same time. It is strange with regard to the latter Manor, 
that though it was sold to Sir Henry Poole, of Sapperton, in 
1600, it still belongs to the Manor of Avening, and fee farm 
rent in respect of it is paid by the Lord of that Manor to the 
present day. 

After remaining in the Windsor family for several genera- 
tions, the Manor passed on the death of Thomas Lord Windsor 
in 1642 to his nephew, Thomas Hickman. The last Lord 
Windsor is said to have been " seized of the Manor of Minchin- 
hampton, Aveninge, Loysemore, Ashton, Redborough, Noils- 
worth, Strowed, and 30 messuages, 30 tofts, 6 water mills, 6 
dovecots, 30 gardens, 1,000 acres of land, 200 of mead, 1,000 of 
pasture, 2,000 of wood, 300 of common, held of the King by 
knight's service." Notwithstanding these large possessions he 
seems to have left heavy debts behind him, and the trustees 
of Thomas Hickman, who was a minor, in order to liquidate 
these, were forced in the year 1651 to sell the two Manors of 
Avening and Minchinhampton, with the advowsons and other 
appertenances, to Samuel Sheppard. 

By the kindness of Mr F. A. Hyett, of Painswick House, I 
am able to give an account of the connection of his ancestors 
with the Manor of Nailsworth, which seems to have been a 
separate Manor, though within the parish of Avening : — 

James Hyett, of Lydney, who was Constable of St. 
Briavels Castle in 1471, and was in the latter year collector 
of tenths and land tax, is described in the Polls Receipt 


Roll (14 Edw. IV.) as having lately been the owner of the 
Manor of Nailsworth. He had recently made it over to 
his son Roger, who died during his father's lifetime, 
Oct. 20th, 1478. At the " inquistiones post mortem," 
held respecting Roger's property, it was found that he 
held a lease of the Manor of Naylesworth from the 
Monastery of S. Saviour of Zion, and that his brother 
Thomas, who was then 14 years old, was his heir. The 
Manor descended to Thomas and was his property until 
his death on Feb. 20th, 1543. He left a son, James, to 
whom the lease of the Manor of Nailsworth passed. James 
had a son, Charles, and a grandson, Richard, who joined 
together in seUing their interest in the Manor of Nails- 
worth and three messuages in Naylesworth and Minchin- 
hampton to Henry Lord Windsor, for the sum of £200 
(Feet of Fines 43 and 44 Elizabeth). 

These early ancestors of Mr Hyett would have had cause 
to feel proud indeed if they could have foreseen the literary 
talent, and the immense amount of public work, voluntarily 
and gratuitously undertaken by their descendant, in the 20th 
Century, and the conspicuous ability with which this work is 
carried out. 

The interests of the Hyetts in the Manor of Nailsworth 
was, as was frequently the case in monastic Manors, only that 
of lessees, and it formed part of the possession of Syon Abbey, 
seized by Henry VHL and given, as we have mentioned above, 
to Andrew Lord Windsor. 

This leasing of Manors for a term of years or for lives, was 
a very common practice, especially in the case of Manors be- 
longing to monastic foundations in out-of-the-way parts of the 
country, where the owners were very much in the hands of 
their " Firmarius," or bailiff. Many of these baihffs rose to 
great power and opulence — by what means we can only con- 

There is an interesting account of a Court Leet held on 
March 12th, 1507, by Dame Alice Hampton, who is described 
as a lady of " approved chastity," either on behalf of the 
Abbess of Syon or, more probably, because she had leased the 
manorial rights from the Foundation which would revert 
again to the Abbess at her death. 




THE Sheppard Family played so large a part in the history 
of Minchinhampton and Avening for nearly 200 years 
that it is necessary to refer somewhat at length to their story. 
A great part of the following facts are taken from an article 
which the writer contributed to Gloucestershire Notes and 
Queries about the year 1884, in answer to an enquiry from 
America as to the history of one branch of the family seated at 
Colesbome, in this County. 

The Sheppards were descended from a family seated at 
Peasmarch, in Sussex, and Battersea, near London. They 
first appear in Gloucestershire at Horsley, where the following 
notices occur : — 

Baptisms — 

Elizabeth, daughter of William Sheppard, June 22, 1622 
Sarah do. do. do. June 27, 1624 

Samuel, son of do. do. March 26, 1627 

Anne, daughter of do. do. 1628 

Dorothy do. do. do. 1637 

Marriages — 

Samuel Sheppard and Elizabeth 1627 

Joseph Chfford and Mary Sheppard . . August 14, 1638 
John Mills and Judith Sheppard . . September 21, 1654 

Burial — 
Philip Sheppard September 20, 1623 

This Philip Sheppard left three sons, William of Hemp- 
stead, John of Tetbury, and Samuel of Minchinhampton, and 
one daughter Rebecca, wife of Charles Hillar (Hillier), of 














en Ah 








H d 

d « 

Q rt 

S-g o 

ffi '^ > 

W^ o 









^ CO 








u 6 











03 "0 



u vo 









■d CT) 




T) , , 


CO -i-i 




D T5 



3 w 










h 00 


l-M CD 7? 

W5 OH 

HH "43 T3 
i_J en t3 




m . 
J 3 


O . 


ti +^ -M 
W)C is 

S o - 


U S ^ 

^Ah d^ 



<U CO 
' — ■ en - 






•— > 






















ni 00 


































1— , 
















cd 4) 
en V 



^ 4} 


_ > 




cd <u 












;-i U 




•^ 5*, 



2 '^ 


c8 3 




.. "« 


d CIS 





i-i d 



S cfl 



lU ~ 




^H >. 










cn So 


CD £«' 


c^MH ja 


•:3 0-d 


Ah 3 rt 

d I3.?J 


"O ,, ca 


>-i t; d 



X) I-" 

W 2 "* 


" CTi e» 

2 CO 

CD 43 . 

oH S 

P s 



-M 0-3 
MH (13 

— 4S 5 

Ah j: 


T) bo,. 



!3 ^-^ 

C/3 § 





A >>cn 

CO cfloo 






Horsley. William was married four times and John thrice, 
but I know nothing of their descendants. The third son, 
Samuel, purchased the Manors of Minchinhampton and 
Avening from the trustees of Lord Windsor in 1651, though I 
think there had been some previous transactions between 
Lord Windsor and Samuel's father. Samuel married Isabel, 
daughter of George North, of Buckington, Co. Wilts, (a sister 
of one of his brother William's wives), and died March nth, 
1672. The issue of this marriage was two sons and two 
daughters. Samuel, the elder son, died young, and Philip, a 
Justice of the Peace for the County of Gloucester and barrister 
at law, inherited his father's estates. Atkyns says of him, 
" Philip Sheppard is the present Lord of the Manor of Min- 
chinhampton and keeps a Court Leet. He has a large house 
near the Church and a spacious grove of high trees in a park 
adjoining to it, which is seen at a great distance. He hath a 
very large estate in this and other parishes within this county." 
Abel Wantner, writing about 1710, says : " Just behind Squire 
Sheppard's most pleasant habitation groweth one of the 
finest groves of pine-like ash and beechen trees in all ye County ; 
County do I say, nay, in all ye Kingdom." Phihp died in 
1713, aged 82, and is buried at Minchinhampton. By his first 
wife he had two sons and two daughters. Samuel, the elder, 
succeeded to the Hampton and Avening estates, and Philip 
to Colesbourne, where he became the ancestor of the Coles- 
bourne branch of the family. 

Samuel Sheppard married Ann, only daughter and heiress 
of Thomas Webb, of Wallbridge, near Stroud (who died in 1734, 
aged 70, and was buried at Minchinhampton), by whom he had 
six sons and three daughters. This lady probably brought a 
considerable fortune to her husband, as in the next generation 
the family occupied an important position in the county. 
Three of the sons and one daughter died unmarried. WiUiam, 
the sixth son, is described as of " Hackney, Middlesex, Black- 
well Hall Factor," from which we may infer that he was a 
wholesale cloth merchant. 

Samuel, the eldest brother, inherited the family estates, 
and was a Justice of the Peace and High Sheriff in 1730. He 
married Anne, daughter of Edward Darell, of Rockhampton, 
Surrey, who died on August 29th, 1749, aged 58. Her husband 
did not long survive her, as he died on December 20th in the 
same year. On his tombstone in Minchinhampton Churchyard 


is this epitaph, and if he possessed all the virtues ascribed to 
him, he must indeed have been a remarkable man : — 

In Memory of 


A gentleman of unblemished integrity, unaffected piety 

And truly primitive simplicity of manners, 

Affable and courteous in his behaviour, 

Easy and instructive in his conversation, 

Just and upright in all his dealings, 

Without partiality, without hypocrisy, 

His charity was as free from ostentation 

As his nature from disguise. 

In all social offices he remarkably excelled ; 

An eminent example of conjugal affection, 

A tender parent, a kind master, a sincere friend. 

Thus adorned with an uncommon sanctity of morals, 

He sustained the miseries of human life with 

Christian fortitude. 

His conscience not reproaching him 

With the omission of any duty to God or man. 

He was patient in his death. 

And his hope was full of immortality. 

He died December the 20th, 1749, 

In the 63rd year of his age. 

Samuel, the fourth of the name, succeeded to the estates, 
but, as he left no male issue, they devolved on his younger 
brother Edward on his death in 1770. The family had now 
risen to considerable importance, and the estates, as shown by 
rent rolls and accounts, had greatly increased in value. 
Edward, therefore, on coming into possession of the property, 
appears to have considered the old home at Minchinhampton 
to be no longer adequate to the dignity to which the family 
had attained ; and he accordingly built a new house at Gat- 
combe, in a beautiful situation about a mile from Minchin- 
hampton, the residence of Major (now Lt. Col.) Ricardo. 
The House, described by Fosbrooke as " The elegant modern 
seat of the Sheppard family," is a fine mansion with a very 
good front elevation. The plaster work inside the house is 
in the Adams style, and all the details are extremely well carried 
out. One would like to know the name of the architect who 
designed it, but I have not been able to find any record on 


this point. I do not know how long a time was employed in 
the building of the Mansion, nor the amount which it cost, but 
it must have involved Edward Sheppard in considerable 
expense, and at his death, June 12, 1803, at the age of 78, 
the property was already mortgaged. 

The next heir and last owner of the old Sheppard Estates 
was Philip, only son of Edward. He was born in 1766, and was, 
consequently, about 37 years old when his father died. He is 
described as having been an easy-going, good-natured man, 
very extravagant, and with a great taste for sport and ex- 
pensive amusements. He raised a troop of Yeomanry in 
1795, the equipment and maintenance of which cost him a 
large amount of money. He also kept a pack of fox hounds at 
Gatcombe, which were not looked on with much favour by his 
father, if we may judge from an entry in a pocket-book of 
1790 : — " Phil talked of giving up ye hounds ; I hope he may 
continue in yt resolution." There is also, in the same pocket- 
book, an account of a great run which Phil had with his hounds 
from Calcot Bam. 

On his accession to the property, efforts were made to free 
it from encumbrances by the sale of the advowsons of the 
rectories of Minchinhampton and Avening. But the sums 
realized fell far short of the amount required, and the circum- 
stances of the poor squire went from bad to worse. He was 
strongly urged to economise and live quietly for a few years, 
so as to give the estate time to recover. But it was not in 
his nature to do this, and he continued his career of extrava- 
gance. Household bills began to fall in arrear and creditors 
pressed for money. He endeavoured to stave off ruin by 
mortgaging the estates more deeply and selling off parts of the 
property. I have heard stories from his steward Baldwin, who 
lived in Minchinhampton to a great age, of the shifts to which 
he and the squire were put to raise ready money, and of the 
long consultations they often held far into the night to devise 
ways and means of tiding over the more pressing difficulties. 
At this time the old home of the family at Hampton was sold, 
and was subsequently pulled down, as we shall see later on. 

The crash came at last, and in 1812 the manor of Avening, 
with most of the property in that parish, was sold to William 
Playne, of Longfords, who had already advanced considerable 
sums of money, and in 1814 Mr David Ricardo bought the 


manor of Hampton with all the remaining property in that 

Philip Sheppard soon afterwards went to Uve at Dun- 
querque, in France, out of the reach of his creditors. The 
writer's grandfather helped him over some of his difficulties, 
and they corresponded till Philip Sheppard's death in London, 
in December, 1838. He left two sons, Edward and Philip 
Charles. Edward left no descendants, but the family was 
continued by Philip Charles, and amongst the many des- 
cendants now living is Mr Thomas Falconer, whom we have 
already mentioned, and who is the great grandson of Philip 
Sheppard, the last owner of Gatcombe, The arms of the 
Sheppard family were. Ermine on a chief sable three battle 
axes argent. 

There is a curious story of another very extravagant in- 
habitant of Minchinhampton, who flashed like a meteor across 
the quiet life of the town, and disappeared and was heard of 
no more. 

Somewhere about the year 1824, or 1825, William White- 
head appears on the scene. He came into a large fortune of 
over £100,000, inherited from his father, who was a Merchant 
in London. 

William Playne was one of the two official assignees in 
Whitehead's bankruptcy, and hence it is that I have very 
voluminous bundles of papers connected with the estate. The 
balance sheets disclose an extraordinary state of affairs. 
Whitehead seems to have bought property all over this part 
of the county in the most reckless manner. His method of 
acquiring these properties was immediately on purchase to 
mortgage them for as much as he could raise. The 
rate of interest, with this security, was 5% — a very moderate 
rate at that time. The variety of property he bought was 
remarkable, and below are a few of the most noteworthy : — 

Hyde Farm, subsequently sold by the assignees 

to Mr David Ricardo £14,500 

The Park, Westfield, the Shard, and sundry 
buildings and cottages . . . . . . £26,696 

Other Cottages and lands in Minchinhampton £11,178 

Lodgemore Mills, with steam engine, &c., &c. 

let to Nathaniel Marhng at £1,800 p. ann. £27,000 

and many other large amounts in other parts of the county 
at Painswick, Nailsworth, etc. 



Whitehead pulled down the old home of the Sheppards 
near the Church, and made a large walled garden, which still 
exists, within the grounds, and greatly enlarged the stables and 
outbuildings. He laid the foundation of a very large house, 
which was to be called " Minchinhampton Abbey," but it never 
rose beyond the foundation, still remaining under the present 
Schools, which were built on the site. All this might not have 
brought him to ruin had his life and character been better. 
In the first balance sheet, on paper at any rate, he was solvent, 
though in all probability the assets did not realize the amount 
at which they were valued. But he was reckless and extrava- 
gant to the last degree, keeping the lowest company, racing 
and gambhng and spending money in the wildest manner. 
It is remarkable that all through the correspondence he is 
only once mentioned as being in Hampton, and then on the 
occasion of some drunken debauch. There are petitions 
from debtors' prisons of others whom he brought to ruin, 
but I do not know what ultimately became of him or where he 
died after his wasted life. Very probably, Hke many others, 
he fled the country to avoid being arrested. In a conversation 
with Philip Sheppard, towards the end of his life, my grand- 
father told him Whitehead's story, and how he got rid of 
;f 100,000 in little more than 13 months. " What," said 
Philip Sheppard, " Get rid of £100,000 in 13 months ! What 
a clever fellow he must have been ! It took me 13 years to 
get rid of about the same amount ! " 

Whilst on the subject of the Sheppard family we must go 
back to the story of one member who no doubt was a well- 
known character in the neighbourhood in his day. 

The Rev. Philip Sheppard was bom in 1695, and became 
Rector of Minchinhampton, at the age of 25, in 1720, and of 
Avening in 1728. Both rectories were valuable benefices, 
and he occupied them till his death in 1768, having been 
rector of Minchinhampton for no less than 49 years, as is 
recorded on a tablet to his memory in the Chancel of Hampton 
Church. The illustration is from a portrait in the writer's 
possession. He married a Miss Knight, of Eastington, who 
died May 11, 1735, aged 49, and is buried at Minchinhampton. 
They had no children, but this lady probably brought some 
fortune to her husband, as land at Eastington is mentioned 
in his will. He built the present rectory house, which was 


extensively altered by the Rev. E. C. Oldfield. I remember 
the old house with narrow Georgian sash windows. He also 
planted the avenue of limes which lead up to it, and which 
are now very fine trees and a conspicuous landmark. 

The advowsons and presentation to the Hvings belonged 
to Philip Sheppard's nephew, Edward, under a settlement 
made by his father. Perhaps he was intended for the Church, 
but he never took orders. In the year 1765, Edward Sheppard, 
in consequence of the state of his uncle's health, was anxious 
to sell the next presentation to the livings of Minchinhampton 
and Avening, and the following is a letter from Mr Edmund 
Clutterbuck, the family sohcitor, who Uved at Hyde, dated 
2ist September, 1765 : — 

" I cannot procure you an exact acct. how the yearly 
income is made out by the present incumbent, who is 
Mr Edward Sheppard's uncle, having kept no account 
thereof. But the livings are generally esteemed to be 
£700 p. ann., though 'tis well known that the present 
Incumbent, who is an easy gent., does not make the most 
of them. Mr Sheppard does not chuse to abate any- 
thing of ;^3,ooo, and he thinks that sum, considering the 
age and infirmity of his Uncle (who is upwards up of 70 
and who had some time ago a Stroke of the Palsy, by which 
he has been lame ever since) is much under the value. 
I assure you. Sir, I cannot think the present Incumbent's 
life worth more than 4 or 5 years' purchase, indeed I 
should not chuse to purchase his life at that, as being 
unable to do duty himself, he keeps three curates, to 
two of whom he gives £40 p. ann. and to the other £30. 
The Parsonage House at Hampton, where the present 
Incumbent lives, was new built by him, and is as pleasant 
and convenient a dwelling as most in Gloucestershire." 
This letter was written to a certain John Heaton, of 
Threadneedle Street, London, who ultimately bought the two 
livings for £2,900. Mr Clutterbuck 's surmise was right, for 
the old Rector lived only four years after the date of this 
transaction. The Rev. Robert Salusbury Heaton was probably 
the son of John Heaton, the purchaser of the Uving. He was 
presented by Thomas Griffin and Edmund Clutterbuck, who 
were Trustees and held the purchase money until the death 
of Philip. The Rev. R. S. Heaton did not hold the living long, 
as he died in 1774. 




RODBOROUGH Church was a Chapel of Ease to Minchin- 
hampton, the Rector of the latter Parish being obliged 
to provide a Curate to officiate in the Chapel, and there was 
also a Lectureship attached to the Church in the gift of 
Brasenose College, Oxford. In Rudder's time this Lecture- 
ship was worth ;^58 per ann., but of late years it has produced 
considerably more, owing to part of the endowment estate 
having become building land. The present Rector of Rod- 
borough kindly informs me that in 1897 the interest in the 
Lectureship, and also the advowson of the Living, were 
bought and the purchase money raised on loan by the Lecture- 
ship Trustees. This loan will be paid off in eight years' time ; 
the Rector in the meantime receiving ^^50 a year from the 

In the reign of James I., the Parishioners of Rodborough 
petitioned for the Rector of Minchinhampton to find a Chaplain 
to officiate in the Chapel, and accordingly, by a decree in 
Chancery (2, James I., 1605), the Rector was bound to set 
aside £40 a year for a Curate and £5 for the repair of the 
Chapel. The only ancient part of the Church now remaining 
is the Tower, which is very good of its kind, and stands out 
beautifully on the side of the hill. The Church contains a 
Jacobean pulpit, the gift of Jasper Estcourt, in 1624, and also 
Communion Plate and Sanctuary chairs of the same date. 

The Traffic in Pews. — Until it's restoration, Rodborough 
Church afforded a good illustration of the very common 
practice, in former times, of buying and selling Pews in 
Churches — a traffic which continued, in some cases, up to quite 


recent times. Those who were authorised by the Church- 
wardens to erect Galleries and Pews for their occupation, 
claimed them as their freehold within the Church, and in the 
writer's recollection, both at Minchinhampton and Avening, 
brass plates were fixed on many of the Pews recording that 
" this Pew is the property of " 

There is a good example of this practice in the Parish 
Books of Rodborough, where this entry occurs : — 

" We, the Minister and substantial Freeholders and 
Inhabitants of the Parish of Rodborough, did consent 
and agree that Samuel Shurmer, one of our present church- 
wardens, should erect a gallery for his own use in the south- 
east He of our Parish Church of Rodborough aforesaid, 
which gallery is accordingly erected and is the property 
of the said Samuel Shurmer. In witness whereof we 
hereunto subscribed our hands in the year of our Lord, 


Phil Sheppard, Minister. 

Dan. H. Charges, Churchwarden." 
Then follow the signatures of 15 other parishioners. 

There are many other records of the sale and purchase of 
pews and seat places in Rodborough Church, and also a great 
number in the Churchwardens' accounts of Minchinhampton, 
beginning as early as 1632, when it was recorded "That Jeremie 
Buck, senior, did at his owen proper cost and charges build 
two seats for himself and his succeeding posteritye." William 
Nichols and George Small again in 1664 built a gallery " at 
their own propper cost and charge. And it is for their owen 
use and those whom they lett it unto for ever." There were 
also tM'o proprietary galleries in Avening Church up to the time 
of the recent restoration. 

There is a quaint entry in the Rodborough records in 
1748 relating to a dispute which had arisen as to the music 
in the church, as follows : — 

" That Peter Playne of Stroud Parish shall have 
liberty to sit in the said Pew and make use of his Bassoon, 
but that no other instrument but a Bassoon shall be 
used there." 

Profaning the Sabbath seems to have been severely 
punished in the neighbourhood. Thus we read that Anthony 


Keene, of Rodborough, was presented to the Court of the 
Hundred, in the reign of EHzabeth, for playing " Globos dies 
festivalibus " — presumably playing bowls on Sunday and 
feast days. There is also an entry of a fine for a similar 
offence in the Hampton Churchwardens' accounts for the 
year 1658 as follows : — 

" Received of Mr Samuel Sheppard, from the Sessions, as 
conviction money for profaning the Lord's Day, by 
Robert Woodroff and Edward Trevis, the summ of 6s 8d, 
and this money paid to Widdow Mills 2s, and to various 
other persons in smaller sums." 

A very celebrated Gloucestershire man was bom and 
lived in the Parish of Rodborough. Fosbroke says of him 
(Vol. I., p. 365) : — " Hill House is the superb residence of that 
distinguished Baronet, Sir George Onesiphorus Paul, in litera- 
ture able and elegant, in forensic business very unlimited, etc." 

Born in 1746, he became a gentleman Commoner of 
St. John's College, Oxford, and, after taking his degree, he 
travelled for two years in Europe, visiting almost every 
Country. Returning to England, he devoted himself to the 
business of his County, becoming High Sheriff in 1780, and 
Chairman of Quarter Sessions about the same time. But it 
is as a philanthropist and prison reformer that Sir George Paul 
is chiefly entitled to fame. ^On his Cenotaph in Gloucester 
Cathedral it is recorded that he was " a man endeared to his 
friends by many virtues both public and private, but who 
claims this mark of local respect by having first reduced to 
practice the principles which have immortalised the name of 

The late Mr Barwick Baker, of Hardwicke Court, himself 
a Reformer of world-wide reputation, says of him: — "In 1783, 
Sir George Paul, as Chairman of Quarter Sessions, brought the 
subject before our County and procured an Act of Parliament 
for building the Gloucester Gaol and Penitentiary. Sir George 
took the suggestions of Howard and carried them into practice. 
An address, published in 1792, gave notice of the completion 
of the Gaol and then commenced nearly the first attempt at 
improvement in the old barbarous system, and from the first 
became the model for nearly all the world." Sir George died 
Jan. 16, 1820, aged 74 years. 

» " Good and Great Men of Gloucestershire," by Joseph Stratford, p. 457. 


Hill House is now called Rodborough Manor, and is the 
property of Mr S. Marling. It was unfortunately burnt down 
a few years ago. Lord John Russell bought it in 1835, on 
being elected one of the Members of Parliament for Stroud, 
and on being created Earl Russell, he took his second 
title from the neighbouring village, Amberley. 

Amberley and Brimscombe 

In the year 1840, the ancient Parish of Minchinhampton 
was divided into three Ecclesiastical Districts, viz. : — The 
mother parish of Minchinhampton, Amberley, and Brimscombe. 
A Church was erected in each of the two latter districts by 
Mr David Ricardo, to whom the Advowsons of all three Livings 
belonged. There are no architectural features about either of 
the two new Churches, which were erected at an unfortunate 

Rodborough also became a substantive Parish at this 
time, and the Advowson of the Living, as mentioned above, 
is now in the hands of Trustees. 









THERE is no evidence of a Church having stood at Hamp- 
ton in Saxon times, though a Priest is mentioned in 
Domesday Book, and it is unhkely that there was more than 
a Chapel of some sort either at Hampton or at Avening before 
the Conquest. 

Until recently, and within living memory, a considerable 
amount of Norman work remained at Hampton, and, of course, 
as we shaU see later on, a very remarkable amount still exists 
at Avening. I have no record of the date of the Consecration 
of either Church, but Thomas, in his " Survey of Worcester," 
says that the great Altar in Minchinhampton Church was 
dedicated by Walter de Maydenstone, Bishop of Worcester, 
in July, 13 15, though this must have been some time after the 
building of the main part of the Church. 

Up to 1842, when Hampton Church underwent a ruthless 
" restoration," there remained on the north side of the Nave 
four arches upon circular pillars with indented capitals of 
undoubtedly Norman work ; and in the wall over these arches, 
during the rebuilding of the Nave, two small Norman windows 
were found, only six inches wide, deeply recessed and splayed, 
similar to those still to be seen in Avening Church. Of other 
Norman work there remained the wall below the East window 
and the North wall of the chancel in which were found, walled 
up, two windows similar to those already mentioned as being 
in the north wall of the Nave. The other parts of the ancient 
Church were of 14th century work, except a few alterations 
in the i6th century in a very debased style of architecture. 
The arches on the south side of the Nave were pointed and 
upon octagonal pillars. The Clerestory had late square-headed 
windows of two lights, and the brackets, which supported the 


beams of the roof, rested on large bold corbel heads. The 
Chancel of the old Church was considerably longer than the 
present one, and, together with the Nave, was destroyed in 

Thus the only parts of ancient work remaining after this 
" restoration " were the tower and the north and south tran- 
septs, and even the beautiful window in the south transept 
would have shared the same fate but for the exertions of the 
late Dr. Dalton, of Dunkirk Manor, a feUow of the Society 
of Antiquaries, who successfully pleaded for its retention. 
Thus was saved this window, which is the chief glory of Min- 
chinhampton Church, and the parish owes a deep debt of 
gratitude to the memory of Dr. Dalton for rescuing this 
treasure from the pickaxe of the " restorer." It was there- 
fore allowed to remain, being only " improved " by taking 
away a very important transom. The south transept, which 
is 40 feet in length, 16 feet wide and 40 feet in height, is very 
remarkable, some of its features being almost unique. The 
roof is most singular, of high pitch, and arched in stone formed 
of a succession of strong ribs, each adorned with pierced work, 
and the intervals between each arched rib and the high pitched 
roof also fitted with pierced stone work. On the east and 
west side of this transept is a range of small two-light windows, 
set very closely together, with buttresses between them, 
corresponding exactly with the arched intervals of the ribs 
of the roof. The south window of this transept, already 
alluded to above, is very fine, and consists of a rose or wheel 
with eight radiating arms enclosing sixteen equilateral com- 
partments. In the recesses of the south wall of this transept 
are two stone coffins under elaborately ornamented ogee 
conopies. The exposed sides of these cofiins are relieved by 
quatrefoils, and on their lids are recumbent figures, one, that 
of a cross-legged knight, and the other that of a lady. The 
feet of the knight rest on a lion, and those of the lady on a dog, 
the emblem of fidelity. 

The figures are of stone, and life size, and the hands of 
both are clasped in prayer. The knight is in a complete suit 
of armour, and wears a long surcoat, confined by a narrow 
girdle, and cut up in front, under which two tunics are to be 
seen, one slightly longer than the other and extending to the 
knee, also cut up in front. His shield, on which is the Crest 


of the de la Meres (an Eagle displayed) hangs at the left from 
a strap over the right shoulder. The sword hangs from a 
broad belt, buckling in front, and there are spur straps on the 

The lady wears a gown with long pointed sleeves, beneath 
which are others, tight to the wrist. The hair is padded at 
the sides, and she wears a wimple and kerchief, which has a 
fold coming from the back of the head to the front, where it 
is sewn down by a thread.^ 

Bigland says of these Monuments : — " In the reign of 
Richard II., 1382, Sir John de la Mere and Maud, his wife, 
rebuilt the south transept." But there was no Sir John de 
la Mere living at that time and holding land at Minchinhampton, 
and these Monuments no doubt represent either Sir Peter or 
his son. Sir Robert de la Mere (sometimes spelt de la Mare). 
From an Inquisition made at Chirinton (Cherington) on 
Saturday next before the Feast of St. Martin, 20 Edward i 
(1292), of the lands which were of Peter de la Mare, we find 
that, besides land at Cherington, 

" He also held certain lands and tenements at Hamp- 
ton of the Abbot of Malmesbury and the Abbess of 
Cadamo (Caen) by soccage, paying, therefore, to the said 
Abbot 40S, and to the said Abbess 13s 4^. There is there 
a messuage, which, together with the garden, is worth, 
by the year, 6s 8d. There are 25 acres of arable land, 
price of the acre 2d, sum 4s 2d. There are there of the 
rent of the freemen by the year 6d. Sum total of Hampton 
1 1 6s lod, out of which there are paid as above, by the 
year, 53s, and so the sum is clear 63s 6d. The marriage 
of Robert, son and heir of the said Peter, is worth 100 

There is also a very similar entry with regard to Robert, 
son of Peter, on Oct. 23, 1308, except that he held at Minchin- 
hampton 40 acres of land, which is the amount now belonging 
to the Trustees of St. Loe's school, the ancient home of the 
de la Meres. The value is stated to be, after deductions, 
£8 8s ^d clear. Peter de la Mere, son of Robert, is stated to 
be " his next heir, and was aged 18 years on the feast of the 
Purification of the Blessed Mary last year." I beUeve that 
this Monument represents Sir Peter de la Mere, and that it 

» B. & Gl, Archaeol. Trans. Vol. XXVIH., p. 97. 


was erected by his son, Sir Robert. The Tombs are evidently 
part of the original design, and, if my surmise is correct, the 
transept was built between 1292 and 1308, which was the 
year in which Sir Robert died, at the age of 34, and, there- 
fore at a much earlier date than that given by Bigland. 

In connection with this transept, a curious error has 
arisen, into which every County Historian from Atkyns down- 
ward has fallen. Atkyns, Rudder, and Bigland say that a 
Chantry was established by a person called Ansloe, or Ainslow, 
and that the monumental effigies are those of a knight of this 
name, and Fosbroke goes so far as to give as a reference the 
Patent roll of 12 Edward III., but on verifying this reference 
I find no mention of any name like Ansloe, but that a Chantry 
in honour of the Virgin Mary was estabUshed by the then 
Rector in 1338, 44 years before the date given by Bigland for 
the building of the transept by the de la Meres. This family 
held, for many generations, the estate on which St. Loe's 
School now stands, and I have no doubt that Mr Bruce's^ 
view on this point is the correct one, viz. : that "Ansloe " is 
simply a corruption of St. Loe, and that "Ansloes Aisle " is, 
in reality, " St. Loe's Aisle," and, as we shall see later on, the 
Chantry established by William de Prestbury in 1338 was 
situated outside the Church. 

The church tower presents rather a problem. Had it a 
spire, and if so, why was it finished off in its present state ? 
Both Atkyns and Rudder say it had a spire which was taken 
down half way, and ornamented with pinnacles. Bigland 
says, on the authority of two manuscript histories by Wantner 
and Parsons in the Bodleian Library, that the upper part of 
the spire was blown down in 1602, when it was finished with 
an embattled parapet. Fosbroke does not mention it. I 
have had these two MSS. copied, and find that Wantner, a 
most inaccurate historian, does indeed say : "It had formerly 
a spire upon the top thereof, which was thrown down by 
tempestious weather, and afterwards rebuilt as now it 
standeth." But he gives no date. Parsons, whose history 
is much more accurate than Wantner's, says : — " The spire 
steeple is in ye middle whose Top falling to decay was in part 
taken down." The churchwardens' accounts also seem to 
point to the spire having been lowered and not blown down. 

I Extracts from the Churchwardens' accounts of Minchinhampton page 9. 



In 1556 we read " to a man that say (saw) the Stepulle iijs 
iiijd." In 1560 " paid to Jhon Yngrow, Jhon Newman, & 
Henry pole for lettynge downe the stones out of the steeple 
ijs." There are many other payments to people who came to 
" loke upon the steeple." Finally, in 1563, one Thomas Slie, 
who appears to have been a master mason, of Painswick, 
and the " Plommer " received considerable sums of money 
for work on the steeple. There are also charges for " meat and 
drincke when the stones were carried." 

On the whole I believe the spire had been in a dangerous 
condition for some time, and, after taking many opinions from 
those who came "to loke upon the Steeple," the churchwardens 
were ultimately compelled, very likely under pressure from 
the authorities at the Visitations, to undertake the work, in 
1563, and I think we may be grateful to them for making so 
good a finish to the shortened spire. 

On the restoration in 1842, when the old nave and chancel 
were broken down, a number of incised stone slabs were found 
in the 14th century walls, used as building material in various 
parts. By this means these stones had been preserved for 
some 500 years and handed down in a remarkably good state 
of preservation — the incisions of many of them being as 
sharply defined as when they were first cut from the softer 
beds of the great ooUte weatherstone of the district. These 
incised gravestones appear to have been used not only as 
coverings for coffins, but also as memorial stones over the 
grave below, as only one early stone coffin was found, though 
there were some of a later date, notably one in a recess in the 
end of the wall of the north transept. This coffin, destroyed 
in 1842, contained a skeleton of an adult, together with traces 
of habihments and " clouted shoes." 

These ancient and beautifully-incised slabs were appro- 
priated by the contractor at the 1842 restoration, and given 
to anyone who cared to have them. Thus they were scattered 
all over the neighbourhood and used for rockeries, ferneries, 
etc., or left lying in neglected corners of pleasure grounds. So 
that more has been done to efface these memorials of past 
years than had been accompUshed in the previous five 
centuries.^ Illustrations of some of these slabs are given on 
page 54- 

« Mr G. F. Playne in Proceedings of the Cotteswold Naturalists' Field Club, v., 39-45 






On removing the plaster and whitewash from the eastern 
end of the Nave, the ancient site of the Parish Altar was 
disclosed, in a precisely similar position to that at Avening. 
The pitch of the old Norman roof can also be seen, but it is a 
pity that black mortar was used in pointing the stones, which 
present a rather unsightly appearance. The Septum wall of 
Alabaster was added by the Rev. F. A. Mather, in place of 
the former one of stone, and the present pulpit, also of Ala- 
baster, was erected by subscription, in memory of the Rev. 
E. C, Oldfield, replacing a fairly good one in stone. But I 
venture to think that it would have been more in keeping with 
the rest of the building to have carried out these alterations 
in the beautiful freestone of the district. The stripping of 
plaster also revealed the position of the ancient Roodloft, and 
the access to it is to be seen on the Tower stairs, through a 
doorway now walled up. The bells are six in number, all but 
one cast by the Rudhalls, the famous bellfounders, of 
Gloucester. The inscriptions are as follows : — 

1. Peace and good neighbourhood Abraham Rudhall, 1719 

2. Geo. Playne & Fras. Chambers 

(Churchwardens) . . . . T. Mears, 1842 

3. Prosperity to the Church of 

England (Nathaniel Perks 
and James Parker, Church- 
wardens) . . . . . . Abraham Rudhall, 1719 

4. A. Townsend & G. Ralph, 

Churchwardens . . . . John Rudhall, 1797 

5. John Rowden, Curate . . Abraham Rudhall, 1719 

6. Jos lies & Jacob Scuse, 

Churchwardens . . . . John Rudhall, 1825 

Coming to more recent times, we are glad to recognise 
that the iconoclasm of former days has passed away, let us 
hope for ever. The incongruities and disfigurements introduced 
in 1842 have been swept away, and the appearance of the 
interior of the Church has been greatly improved. When I 
first recollect it there were ugly galleries running along three 
sides of the Nave. The organ and choir were located in a 
huge gallery, which blocked up the whole west end of the 
Church. There was the inevitable " three decker," the Rector 
preaching in a black gown, below him the curate facing the 


congregation in the reading-desk, and below the Curate again 
the Clerk, who said the responses and gave out the hymns. 

But when all this is admitted, it is not quite fair to blame 
too much the restorers of the Church, who did their best 
according to the lights and tastes of the day. Archaeology was 
not studied in those days, and the architecture of the early 
Victorian age, of which very dreadful examples still remain 
with us, is truly deplorable. At any rate, nothing can be said 
against the structure of the building. The stone work is 
admirable, and reflects great credit on the local artificers, 
who executed it in the beautiful stone of the neighbourhood. 
I have no record of the amount expended on the restoration, 
but I have heard that it cost a large sum of money, which was 
generously subscribed by the parishioners, headed by Mr David 

On the death of the Rev. Charles Whately, who had held 
the living since 1841, and the coming in 1865 of the Rev. E. 
C. Oldfield, a new era may be said to have begun in the history 
of the parish Church. One of the first improvements was the 
rebuilding of the east end of the Chancel, and the erection of 
a new large window in place of a very small and poor one placed 
there in 1842. The window was designed by the late Mr 
Burges, and is a double one with two panes of tracery about 
two feet apart. Mr Burges's reason for designing this double 
window was that the south transept window is so magnificent 
that he desired to introduce a special feature, giving more 
richness to the east window than could be done with a single 
one. The glass was executed by Messrs. Hardman, of Birming- 
ham, from designs by Mr Powell. The lower part represents 
our Saviour's conflicts, and the upper part His triumph. The 
five principal lights represent : in the centre the Crucifixion ; 
on the left, washing the feet of the disciples, and the bearing 
of the Cross ; and on the right the Agony in the garden, and 
the Scourging. In the centre of the circle is Our Lord in 
glory seated on a throne ; the ten medallions represent pro- 
phets, apostles and martyrs. There is this inscription on a 
brass plate : "To the glory of God and to the Memory of 
Mary Ann, wife of WiUiam Playne, of Longfords, Esquire, 
this window was dedicated Anno Domini, 1869." Mrs Playne 
was killed in a carriage accident on May 20th, 1868. The 
whole of the cost of re-building the east end of the Church, 









including the window and glass, was the gift of Mr William 

The disfiguring side galleries were soon removed, not 
without considerable opposition from some of the older in- 
habitants, and a little later the cumbersome west gallery was 
pulled down, and the organ removed to its present position 
in the north transept. The choir-stalls were added and other 
improvements made, mostly at the expense of Mr Oldfield 
and members of his family. 

In 1873, the beautiful south transept window had painted 
glass added to it ; this was also executed by Messrs. Hardman, 
and the design and general appearance of the window is most 
successful. It was dedicated by the late Mr H. D. Ricardo 
and his sister to the memory of their father and mother, and 
is intended to represent the work of the Holy Ghost. It 
bears the following inscription : — 

" In honorem Sanctissimae Trinitatis, et in piam parentum 
memoriam banc fenestram omandam curavere Henricus 
David Ricardo et soror ejus.— A.D. MDCCCLXXIII." 

The west window and the south windows of the Nave have 
also recently had painted glass added to them, designed and 
executed by Mr Herbert Bryans, the brother of the late Rector. 
The west window was the gift of the Rev. E. L. Bryans. The 
others are memorials of Mr Edward Playne, Mr and Mrs C. 
R. Baynes, Mr and Mrs H. D. Ricardo, and Mr and Mrs George 
Playne. There is also a window in the south transept in 
memory of George Edward, son of Mr and Mrs Edward Playne. 

The Church as it stands now is a noble monument of the 
piety of our forefathers, and though we may regret the dis- 
appearance of some features which we should have wished to 
retain, we may nevertheless be thankful that so much of the 
ancient fabric still remains. 




AS has already been stated, the restoration of Minchinhamp- 
ton Church was begun in 1842 and finished in the latter 
part of the following year. The lowering of the level of the 
Nave and of a considerable part of the Churchyard, neces- 
sitated the removal of a very large number of bodies, buried 
under the pavement of the Church, and in the crowded Church- 
yard outside. These burials of a large population both within 
and without the Church had been continuous for 500 years, 
and, until the enlargement of the Churchyard a few years 
ago, gruesome and horrible sights were to be seen when a grave 
was dug in the old and more crowded part. Those who 
remember the state of things at the restoration of Avening 
Church, where everything possible was done to avoid any 
risk to the health of the inhabitants, can imagine the condition 
of matters at Minchinhampton, where far more movement of 
soil was necessary, and no care whatever was taken. The soil 
thrown up by the excavations appears to have been left in 
heaps in the adjoining fields for any one who cared to use it 
to carry away. Some was spread on pasture land or taken 
away and used as garden manure. This was the case at the 
Rectory, with disastrous consequences, as we shall see later 

Dr. Daniel Smith, a medical practitioner at Minchin- 
hampton, writing to Dr. Southwood Smith, who was Medical 
Officer to the recently established " Health of Towns Associa- 
tion," gives the following account of the epidemic : — 

" Our town is situated on a considerable elevation ; each 
shower of rain produces its little torrent, which passes through 
the streets with a considerable power ; our streets are wide, 
and the inhabitants tolerably (!) cleanly ; no offensive business 
being carried on, and the place is proverbial for health. I 
have practised as a surgeon here for sixteen years, and, until 
the last two years I have no recollection of having had a single 


case of typhus fever. In the latter end of the year 1844 I 
had many cases uniform in their symptoms and a disposition 
to assume the typhoid type. Last year very few occurred. 
Within the last two months we have had upwards of 150, so 
as to induce a general meeting of the inhabitants. The fever 
is identical with that of the former year, but more severe ; 
cold rigors, congestion of the brain, great prostration of the 
vital powers, blood dark, with delirium on the second or third 
day, are the early symptoms." Dr. Smith goes on to state 
that hundreds of loads of very dark earth mixed with bones 
removed from the Churchyard still remained within 50 yards 
of the town. Many cartloads of similar soil were taken to the 
Rectory, and used as manure for the garden and shrubberies, 
with the consequence that out of the Rector's family, con- 
sisting of himself, his wife and two children, the wife and one 
child took the fever and died, and the gardener, who used the 
manure, shortly after also died of the same disease. 

Throughout the whole epidemic, the outlying hamlets 
were quite free from fever, and only the town of Minchinhamp- 
ton was affected. A wordy warfare then ensued, beginning 
with the letter of Dr. Daniel Smith, quoted above, in Novem- 
ber, 1846, and continuing until the end of February, 1847. 
The letters appeared mostly in the Gloucester Journal, and the 
controversy was also taken up by the London papers, the 
Times, the Sun, and the Daily News, until the fever at Minchin- 
hampton became notorious all over the country. 

The Parish took sides. One party included Mr David 
Ricardo, the Patron of the living, Mr Bruce, of Hyde House, 
the transcriber of the Churchwardens' Accounts, and others, 
many of whom used the Churchyard soil as manure for their 
gardens and fields. On the other side were Dr Daniel Smith, 
Dr. Southwood Smith, Mr J. G. Ball, who Hved at Minchin- 
hampton, and was a solicitor and Coroner (as his son, Mr 
Morton Ball, now is), and also most of those who suffered in 
person or family from the epidemic. The correspondence 
became very acrimonious until the editors of the newspapers 
refused to publish any further letters on the subject of the 

An evidence of the carelessness with which exhumations 
were carried out, came under my notice when I was Church- 
warden in the year 1872. In a cellar adjoining the Sexton's 


house, the bones of a large number of persons were found, 
evidently remains brought from the Church or Churchyard at 
the time of the restoration, thirty years before. My co- 
churchwarden and I, caused a deep trench to be dug in the 
Churchyard, and these remains were carefully collected and 
re-interred in the trench. This was done at night, and we 
agreed to say nothing about it, but as more than a generation 
has passed away since that time there is no harm in mentioning 
it now as an instance of the carelessness with which the removal 
of the bodies was carried out. The exhumations and dis- 
persal of the remains caused very bitter feelings amongst the 
inhabitants, as the following extract from a long, contem- 
porary, poetical effusion will show : — 

"As late I sought my parents earthly goal 

To bow again where often I have knelt. 
And breathe my vows and feel the love I felt. 

But lo ! appears to my astonished eyes 
Things wondrous strange ; there I beheld arise 

Where stood the old and venerated Church 
A fabric new to baulk my pious search, 

" Confusion worse confounded " spread around — 
Sculls, epitaphs and coffins strewed around ; 

And ye dear valued ones — bone of my bone, 
Flesh of my flesh — alas ye too were gone, 

Your sacred consecrated dust unshrined 
And cast as worthless to the blasting wind. 

Nor stood I lonely in my speechless woe, 
A widow's frenzied tears were seen to flow 

Upon the vacant spot where late found rest 
The idol lover of her virgin breast. 

And weeping brothers, sisters, parents blend 
Sighs, groans and tears bemoaning some dear friend 

Swept by sacrilegious deed away 
To find a meaner grave in common clay." 

Typhoid or enteric fever was only imperfectly understood 
in those days, and all diseases of this type went by the generic 
name of " Typhus," which is in fact a different form of fever, 
and now much less common than typhoid. Typhus was the 
well-known "Jail fever," the infection of which was frequently 
brought by prisoners from the old insanitary gaols and com- 
municated to Judges, Jurymen, Barristers, often with fatal 


effects, whence the Assizes where this occurred went by the 
name of " Black Assizes." The custom also, which con- 
tinued till recent times, of placing rue and other herbs on the 
rail of the dock was due to this fear. 

There is no doubt from contemporary accounts that the 
Minchinhampton epidemic was typhoid fever, and it is strange 
that the most probable immediate cause of the outbreak is 
not even mentioned in any of the correspondence. 

It is now known that typhoid fever is mainly caused by 
the pollution of drinking water by the " bacillus typhosus." 
It may be produced by dust, but, as the bacillus Uves only for 
a few hours when exposed to sun and air, this is not a very 
common means by which it is produced. The bacillus will 
live for many weeks covered up by ordinary soil moistened 
by rain, and it multiplies exceedingly.^ The great oolite 
formation greatly favours the pollution of water if there is 
any contamination of the soil above. The rock is rent by 
vertical fissures, locally called " lizens," through which the 
rainfall finds its way to the fuller's earth, where the springs 
burst out. These " lizens " have from time immemorial been 
largely used for drainage purposes, for which they were very 
convenient, thereby doing away with all necessity for an ex- 
pensive system of drainage. Any liquid, however con- 
taminated, was turned into a " hzen," and when out of sight 
was soon out of mind. Fortunately this system of drainage 
is now made illegal by the byelaws recently adopted by the 
Rural District Council. But at the time of the Minchinhamp- 
ton epidemic it was an almost universal practice, and it is 
wonderful that there is no record of any previous epidemic 
having occurred in the town except a small one in the year 
1758. The inhabitants were partly dependent for their water 
on wells which in the crowded parts of the town were greatly 
polluted and partly on the spring in the Wellhill, which, on 
analysis, was declared to be quite unfit for drinking purposes. 
The town is now amply supplied with excellent water by the 
Stroud Water Company, and most of the old wells have been 

Cremation or "Ashes to Ashes." 

The history of this epidemic and the facts detailed above, 
bring me to the subject of cremation, and I must at once make 

I See Chapter 2. 


it clear that what I say on this subject only represents my own 
views on a very controversial topic, and I am well aware that 
many will not agree with the conclusions at which I have 
arrived after considerable study of the subject. 

It is not necessary to go deeply into the early history of 
cremation. It was practised by the Greeks, the Romans, and 
many other nations of antiquity. The Egyptians were an 
exception, as they embalmed and mummified their dead, but 
in their case they had a climate which favoured this system, 
and the scarcity of fuel would have rendered cremation on a 
large scale impossible in ancient Egypt. In England and on 
the Continent the practice has been growing year by year, and 
old prejudices are gradually giving way to more enlightened 
views. In 1874, the Cremation Society was inaugurated, the 
first President being Sir Henry Thompson, and all the Members 
of the Society subscribe on election to the following declara- 
tion : " We disapprove the present custom of burying the 
dead and desire to substitute some mode, which shall rapidly 
resolve the body into its component elements by a process 
which cannot offend the living, and shall render the remains 
absolutely innocuous. Until some better method is devised 
we desire to adopt that usually known as cremation." There 
is no doubt that the practice of cremation in modem Europe 
was at first stopped, and has since been in a great measure 
prevented by the Christian doctrine of the resurrection of the 
body. But this objection to cremation was disposed of by the 
philanthropist. Lord Shaftesbury, when he asked : " What 
would in such a case become of the blessed martyrs ? " Many 
clergymen, however, have been prominent in favour of crema- 
tion, notably the late Mr Haweis in his "Ashes to Ashes." ^ 

Cremation after all is only hastening the process of nature 
and it surely is far less repulsive to think of the bodies of those 
we have loved on earth as " quickly resolved into their com- 
ponent parts " by cremation than left to the slow process of 
putrefaction. Meanwhile, cemeteries are becoming over- 
crowded, and every year it becomes increasingly difficult to 
find land suitable for their extension, and I look forward with 
confidence to the time when every county and every large 
town will have its Crematorium. 

I Encylopaedia Brittanica. Article, Cremation. 




With reference to John Hampton's Brass, in Minchin- 
hampton Church, Mr Cecil T. Davis, in his " Monu- 
mental Brasses of Gloucestershire,"^ says : — 

" On the Continent it was customary to represent 
the deceased enshrouded, even as early as the 14th Century, 
An example may be seen at Bruges (alas ! what is left of 
it now ?) of the date 1339, and very probably this fashion 
was introduced from the Continent, where it found much 
favour. Below the inscription are two groups of children, 
six sons under the father and three daughters under the 
mother. The eldest son is clothed in the garb of a Monk. 
This is very interesting, as brasses of Monks are seldom 
met with. This is not to be wondered at considering the 
vow made by them on entering the Order, and especially 
the one of poverty, by which they were bound. This 
son, whose name is not given, wears the Tonsure and 
closely cropped hair, a large hood or Cowl, and a long 
vestment with long open sleeves similar to the surplice 
sleeves of that date. The four remaining sons wear a 
loose fitting gown, without fur sleeves, and have long hair. 

The eldest daughter Alice is dressed as a Nun. She 
wears the veil head-dress, a cape over her shoulders, 
open in front, revealing her gown with tight sleeves and 
girt by a loose girdle from which hangs a Rosary of 14 

> p. no. 


Another very interesting Brass is that of Edward Halyday 
and his wife Margery, with a Merchant's Mark below, dated 
1519. As these costumes are interesting, I quote Mr Davis's 
description of them. 

" Edward Halyday has long clubbed hair covering 
the ears with a fringe, and he is clean shaven. His outer 
garment consists of a loose gown reaching to his ankles ; 
it is thrown open both above and below the waist, ex- 
posing to view the fur lining. The sleeves of the gown are 
loose and hanging round the cuffs is a broad band of fur. 
Beneath the gown the under dress is seen fitting closely 
to the neck, and the tight fitting sleeves of the same are 
to be seen at the wrists. He wears broad toed shoes, 
which are fastened across the instep. 

Margery Halyday is represented in the then fashion- 
able "kennel " or pedimental headdress ; the left hand 
front lappet is the only one shown and this is embroidered. 
She wears a tight fitting dress with a narrow collar. The 
lower portion is so arranged as to show the toes of her 
round shoes. 

The sleeves have large reflex cuffs lined with fur. 
The broad loose hip girdle instead of being buckled 
terminates in three rosettes, and from these hang a metal 
chain, to which is fastened a metal pendant. There were 
formerly scrolls issuing from the mouths of both figures, 
bearing Latin inscriptions. On the man's : — ** $X^\0ttt 

met tie jfctim magna m'torDia tua." On the wife's :— 
** 3|Uuict Uiiltu jefuu ^uj>* nos ^ miief*eatr n*ri.** i.e., 

"Let his countenance lighten upon us and pity us." Beneath 
is the following inscription on the brass plate : — 

** #ff por c^arite prap for tt\e ^oulc of €titDarbe fealptiape 
aiiti a^argcrp Iji^ il^pf tDfjiclj €dtoarD DeceistjefiD t|e 
\3iac- \3i Dap of %pn\\ %o hni ^o€€€€€xiX*'' 

Below is a Merchant's Mark engraved on a disk, and 
represents a double cross on a globe with the letters 
" E.H." When this brass was relaid the Merchant's Mark 
was placed upside down." 

The figures are disproportionate in size, the effigy of the 
wife hardly reaching to her husband's shoulder. They are 
both erect, with hands together in supphcation. Edward 

CfiKKsiei^ bis uiyp' 



Merchant mark below 


Halyday is full face, whilst Margery is turned to her right, so 
as to look towards her husband. 

The Wills of both Edward and Margery Halyday are in 
the Archives of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Some 
of the bequests are very quaint. 

Edward is described as being of Rodborough, in the 
parish of Minchinhampton, Clothworker, and the Will is 
dated April 4th, 1519, two days before his death, as recorded 
on the Brass. 

After directing that he is to be buried in the Parish Church 
of Minchinhampton, " nigh unto the sepulchre of my father 
and mother," he gives to the Parish Church xis. To every 
place of " Freres " within the Town of Gloucester and in the 
suburbs of the same, xiijs. u]d. To the prisoners in or about 
the town of Gloucester, vs. viii^. To the Chapel of Rodborough 
aforesaid, towards the buying of a pair of Vestments for the 
said Chapel, xis. To the Church of Stonehouse, towards 
the covering of the said Church of lead, xis. To his sons 
Edward, Richard, William and Michael, xil. each. To his 
daughters Agnes, Catherine, Elizabeth and Alianore, xil, 
" when each of them shall come to the years of maturity to be 
married ; that is, at the age of 18." He mentions land at 
Pakenhill and a farm at Stonehouse, which his wife is to 
occupy and enjoy " upon the condition that she be bound in 
law to his brother, William Halyday, to find a commendable 
priest to say Mass and other Divine services in the Parish 
Church of Minchinhampton, giving yearly unto the said Priest 
£5 6s 8^ to pray for me and Margery, my wife, our fathers' 
and mothers' souls, and of aU them that we be bound by the 
order of Charity to pray for." He makes his wife sole executrix, 
and his brother William overseer of his testament. 

Margery bequeaths to the Mother Church of Worcester, 
xiid. To Minchinhampton in recompense of ty things for- 
gotten, xxs. To an honest Priest to pray specially for her 
husband's soul and her own, and the soul of her benefactors, 
£5 vjs vu]d. To Eleanor, her daughter, her best " bedis " 
and her best gown. " To Johan Halyday, wife of Henry 
Halyday, a certain portion of my raiment. To Johan Haydon 
my brass pot and pannys and pewter, except my London 
pewter. To the said Johan Haydon ij flock beds, with blankets 
and sheets to the said beds. She leaves £10 in the hands of 


her sons, Edward and William, for the continuance of an 
Anniversary for her husband and herself and their benefactors 
by the space of xiiij years. She gives to Tetbury Church to 
the common use of it iijs iiij^. She also mentions certain 
debts which she forgives, and leaves some small legacies to her 
godchildren. She leaves her sons Edward and William 

The Halydays survived for several generations at Hamp- 
ton, and a Michael Halyday presented to the Living in 1618, 
having probably bought the next presentation from Lord 
Windsor. I do not know at what Mill Edward Halyday carried 
on his clothing business, but I am inclined to think that it 
was at Frome Hall, where a Halyday, also a clothier, lived, 
keeping, by the way, a pack of harriers, with which the writer's 
father frequently hunted as a boy in the early part of the 
19th Century. 

There is another Brass which may be of rather earlier 
date than the foregoing. It represents a civilian and wife, 
and it is believed there were originally two wives, one on each 
side of the man, but one of the wives has disappeared, and 
also the name and date. The costume is much the same as 
that of Edward Halyday and his wife, except that the toes of 
the man's boots are very wide and misshapen. In the XV. 
century, laws were made against the excessive length of shoes 
and in the XVI. century, the fashion had gone to the other 
extreme, and boots and shoes were so excessively square 
toed that the law, which had formerly limited the length, was 
now called in to abridge the width of these pedal terminations. 
(Planche's Cyclopaedia of Costume). Below is rather a muti- 
lated inscription, which seems to be : — 

"SDe' mijfcrat* n*ri ^ uicat noMiSf*** 

By far the most distinguished man who lies buried at 
Minchinhampton is Dr. James Bradley, in memory of whom 
there is this inscription, translated from the original Latin, 
engraved on a brass-plate in the south transept, formerly in 
the Churchyard : — 

" Here lies buried James Bradley, D.D., a member 
of the Royal Societies of London, Paris, ^ Berlin, and 

I The original Latin is " Lutetiae Parisorum." Lutetia was tlie name in Roman times of an 
Island in the Seine, inhabited by the Parisi, a small Gallic tribe, and now incorporated in the City 
of Paris. Lutetia continued to be the Latin name fpr Paris until comparatively recent times. 

y ,'Ai6c,r ^ftl— 

([^J^acohj JjOmJ/(}'i/, S.TF 

fp'nidv-t/ CU/ali^w Sik . Jc . 


St. Petersburg, Astronomer Royal, Savilian Professor of 
Astronomy at Oxford. A man highly esteemed for his 
knowledge of Physical Science and principally in the 
elucidation of the most abstruse points ; so successfully 
diligent, and of such great wisdom, that all those who 
devoted themselves to these pursuits freely owned his 
superiority ; and at the same time of such modesty that 
he alone seemed ignorant of the high reputation in which 
he was held by those most competent to judge. He died 
July I2th, 1762, aged 70." 

Dr. Bradley was born at Sherborne, Gloucestershire, in 
March, 1693, and took orders in 1719, but resigned his ecclesi- 
astical preferments on being appointed Savilian Professor of 
Astronomy at Oxford. He had been elected a fellow of the 
Royal Society in 1718, and was appointed Astronomer Royal 
in 1742, succeeding the celebrated Edmund Halley. After 
a most distinguished career he retired on a crown pension of 
£250 a year, and died in broken health at Chalford, within the 
parish of Minchinhampton. Bradley's great discovery of the 
" aberration of light," a corner stone of astronomical science, 
and of the nutation of the earth's axis, will make his name 
famous for all time. It is a pity that a poor brass plate is the 
only memorial of so great a Gloucestershire man, but both the 
Government and the Royal Society have been appealed to in 
vain for a contribution towards a more adequate one. 

Dr. Bradley's mother and sister are also buried at Minchin- 

There is an alliterative inscription to the memory of 
Jeremiah Buck, the elder, each line beginning with a letter of 
his name : — 

I. Intombed here lies a Pillar of the State 
E. Each good man's friend to the Poor 

and so on, but the Poetry is not of such a quahty as to make it 
worth while to quote further. 

There is also a rather pathetic inscription in Latin to the 
memory of Philip, only son of George Ridpath. He is de- 
scribed as " a youth of the greatest promise, learned beyond 
his years, of a keen intelligence, an excellent disposition, and 
highly endowed with many other gifts. With the consent of 


his parents, and by the advice of the Doctors, he left London 
for the country, and, on the journey to Gloucester, he was 
taken suddenly ill on July 3rd, 1705, and early the following 
morning in this town " animam piam et puram Deo reddidit," 
in the 22nd year of his age. 

There are many monuments both in the Church and in 
the Churchyard to members of the Sheppard family, all 
ascribing untold virtues to the departed. The specimen 
already given of the Epitaph on Samuel Sheppard will serve 
as an example of the others. 

There are also many memorials of the Pinfolds, who were 
a noted family of clothiers for many generations. Edward 
Pinfold, in 1683, built the picturesque gabled house known as 
" The Iron Mills," in the possession of the writer ; the date 
stone, with the initials E.P.M. for Edward and Mary Pinfold, 
is over the entrance, and the date is also recorded on an 
illuminated Sundial fixed on the south wall of the house. 

Space will not admit of more epitaphs being given, though 
many are of great interest, but of inordinate length, according 
to the fashion of the 17th and i8th centuries. There are 
many memorials of the Iles's, Cambridges, and Clutterbucks, 
etc., and also several to the memory of the Bucks, of whom 
we shall have a great deal to say later on. Many of the 
tombs and inscriptions were destroyed in 1842, but fortu- 
nately the diligence of Bigland has preserved all that were 
legible in his day. 

'r. »,l* <St bwt)t Alice f>D 6».llAl)fel~ 


.._, ., j^^tlii^l^Si^Jaotpa:^ 





IT has always been supposed that Dame Alice Hampton 
was a Nun of Syon, probably because on her Memorial 
Brass she is depicted in the Monastic dress. The present 
Lady Abbess of Syon, however, informs me that this is not so, 
but that Dame Ahce was a " Sister of the Chapter," and not 
a professed Nun. In the necrology of the Abbey, an entry 
occurs : " Sep. 27, 1516, Lady Alicia Hampton, Benefactress," 
and the Lady Abbess says : " The Anniversaries of all entered 
in the Necrology are read out in the Chapter House the morning 
before they occur in order that the suffrages may be offered for 
them. For four centuries Lady Ahce Hampton's Anniversary 
has thus been announced at Syon, on the morning of every 
26th of September as occurring on the morrow, the 27th." 
This remarkable tribute to a Benefactress also clears up an 
obscure point as to the date of the inscription on the Hampton 
Brass in Minchinhampton Church, which is in old English 
character, as in the illustration : — 

" <l^f poo^ cjjante ptsj? for t|)e ^anW of giol&n l^ampton, 
gentilman, <«Blpn, ^i^ topf ^ al! tljeir ctjildcen, j^peciallp 
for tt)e ^oule of Dame mitt l^am]pton, ^i$s Oauggter, 
tojjic^e toaiBf rigjt lieneficiaH to tji^ef C^urclj ^ p'i^% 
tD^icS Slojjn. bece^^eo, in tje pere of o'^ Eorb, ^0. 
4t.€.€.€.€,%.^^%y on tD§oiefe soule^ ifju gaue 
mercp. 3lmcn.'* 

With reference to the date of the above, Mr Haines, in 
his " Manual of Monumental Brasses," says : — " Though the 
date on this Brass is 1556, it was engraved about 1510, and the 


date subsequently added." Mr Cecil T. Davis, in " Monu- 
mental Brasses," p. 113, says: — "The letters C.L.V.J. 
were evidently added at a later period, so that the Brass may 
have been engraved at an earlier date even than that assigned 
by Mr Haines, possibly at the end of the 15th century." It 
was no uncommon thing for the main part of a Brass to be 
engraved before the death of the person commemorated and 
the date subsequently added carelessly by some one else in 
later times. It is a little uncertain who John Hampton was, 
the name not being an uncommon one in the county. A Sir 
William Hampton, bom at Minchinhampton, became a Member 
of the Fishmongers Company, and Lord Mayor of London 
in 1472, and isbaid to have been the first to set up Stocks in 
every Ward for the punishment of vagabonds, male and 
female. I am inclined to think that John Hampton was the 
son of Sir William, and consequently Dame Alice was his 
grand-daughter. Probably the eldest son, being in orders, 
could not inherit, and the rest of the family may have died 
young, which was a very common occurrence in those days ; 
at any rate, we do not find the name again at Minchinhampton 
after the death of Alice, and she undoubtedly inherited con- 
siderable wealth on the death of her father. 

There is a very interesting Memorial of Dame Alice 
Hampton at Longfords, where a turret clock, made in 1806 
by Jones, of Chalford,' has ever since that date struck, and still 
strikes, the hour and quarters on a bell with the following 
inscription : " Dame Alys Hamton, AoMlVeXv," as in the 
illustration. The preposition " de " in this inscription has 
been partially erased by Unes filed across it, in all probability 
by Dame Alice's direction, her name not having the prefix 
" de." I do not know the whole history of this very early bell, 
which was, apparently, cast in 1515, the year before Dame 
Ahce's death, which, as already stated, occurred on Sep. 27th, 
15 16. The bell was formerly fixed on the so-called " Second 
Market House," there being no less than three in Minchin- 
hampton, as we shall see later on, and when the " second " 
was pulled down in 1806 and the materials sold, the bell was 
bought by the writer's grandfather and placed in its present 
position. The Lady Abbess of Syon, writing of it, says : 
"I am glad that through your grandfather, the bell was 

« Jones of Chalford was a very celebrated Clockmaker in his day, and I have a very fine 
Chime Clock made by him in 1804, playing one of four tunes every tons houcs. 

^2\p\X\ Zi 










saved, otherwise it might have been lost to Hampton. Lady 
Ahcia Hampton little thought that, four hundred years from 
the date of the gift, it would be a means of communication 
between Hampton and Syon, which had ceased for more than 
three centuries and a half." I do not know for certain where 
the bell was placed before being transferred to the second 
Market House, or what purpose it served when there. It 
may have been used as a school bell, if a school was established 
there, as was the case in the present Market House, until 
very recent times. Originally it was probably a Sanctus bell, 
and may have been placed on a Chantry founded and endowed 
by William Prestbury, Rector of Minchinhampton, in 1338, 
" in a Chapell situate within the p'ish (parish) churche yarde." 
All traces of this chapel have disappeared. 

Whilst dealing with the story of Dame Alice Hampton, 
mention must be made of the well-known tradition that she 
gave Minchinhampton Common to the inhabitants of the 
Parish. With every wish to find this tradition true, I regret 
to say that, not only is there no evidence to prove it, but there 
is much to show that Dame Ahce never could have owned 
Minchinhampton Common, and therefore could not have 
given it to the Parishioners. As already mentioned. Dame 
Alice probably held a lease of the Manor for her hfe, but this 
would give her no power to alienate it. The Manor un- 
doubtedly belonged to the Abbey of Syon up to the time of 
the Dissolution of the Monasteries long after the death of 
Dame Alice. Some benefactions given by her to Minchin- 
hampton are mentioned in the " Valor Ecclesiasticus," 26, 
Henry VHI., 1534, as follows : — 

" Money paid in alms to three poor persons in a 
certain almshouse to wit : To each of them 7^ per week 
from the foundation of Lady Alicia Hampton, together 
for delivery and carriage of eight loads of wood annually 
for the same poor persons as appears by the declaration 
thereof mentioned £4 14s 9^." 

There were probably other benefactions by Dame Alice, 
both to the Church and to the Parish. But if so they dis- 
appeared during the upheaval caused by the Reformation, 
and by the zeal of the Reformers to copy the example of the 
King in confiscating for their own benefit the endowments of 
the old religion. 


There is not much more to be said about the manors of 
Avening and Minchinhampton until their final separation. 
The decline of the power and authority of the Lord of the 
Manor, which had already begun in the 15th century, con- 
tinued, and many of their privileges were gradually abolished 
or fell into disuse. Courts Leet were and are still held, 
especially in manors where there is much waste land or com- 
mons, but, as many of these were from time to time enclosed, 
the utiUty of the Courts disappeared, and consequently they 
ceased to be held. Encroachments were still dealt with where 
the courts continued, and in Minchinhampton especially the 
rights of the commoners have been jealously guarded from 
generation to generation. Although there were in former 
times many encroachments, the rights of the commoners have, 
on the whole, been weU maintained, and it is now, at the time 
at which I write, placed beyond the power of anyone to en- 
croach upon the waste or common lands of the manor, by the 
transference of the rights of the Lord of the Manor to the 
National Society for the preservation of Open Spaces, etc. 

The two Manors remained in the possession of the de- 
scendants of Samuel Sheppard for many generations, until the 
year 1812, when the writer's grandfather, William Playne, 
bought the Manor of Avening, with a considerable amount of 
property in that parish, which still remains in the possession 
of his descendants, and, in 1814, Mr David Ricardo, the 
eminent writer on Political Economy, whose works are still 
standard classics, bought the Manor of Minchinhampton, with 
a large estate, and the beautiful residence of Gatcombe Park, 
now the seat of his great grandson. Major Ricardo, Thus 
the two Manors of Minchinhampton and Avening were finally 
separated, and the connection which had survived for over 
seven centuries was dissolved. 




IT is possible to give a fairly complete list of the Rectors 
of Minchinhampton from Papal Registers, the Worcester 
Episcopal Registers, and the Patent Rolls, but the names of 
the Chantry Priests are to a great extent lost, and only an 
occasional one appears here and there. I propose first to deal 
with the Rectors, and afterwards to record what can be gleaned 
as to the Chantries, and the Chantry Priests. The following 
is a list of the Rectors in chronological order, giving the dates 
of their institution so far as can be ascertained, and also any 
facts connected with their lives and ministry which can be 
gathered : — 

1. Master Roger de Salanges, A.D., 1260. He was 
appointed by the Abbess of Caen, and appears to have been a 
pluralist, as is shewn by the following entry in the papal 
registers : — 

" Dispensation to Master Roger de Salange, Rector 
of Boketon, in the Diocese of Norwich, to hold also the 
Rectory of Menecheriehampton, in the Diocese of Worces- 

2. Jordan de Wolverynhampton (Wolverhampton), 
A.D., 1282, presented by the Abbess of Caen. This Rector 
was also Sub-dean of Worcester, so presented by Godfrey 
Gifford, Bishop of Worcester, 1268-1301. 

3. William de Prestbury, A.D., 1318, presented by the 
Abbess of Caen. He held the living until 1349, and was a 


benefactor to the Church. In the Patent Rolls 12 Edwd. III. 
(1338), this entry occurs : — 

" 16 Feb., 1338, Ucense to alienate in Mortmain to 
William de Prestbury, parson of the Church of Munchene- 
hampton, co. Gloucester, two messuages, a toft, a water 
mill, 2^ virgates of land, and 20s rent in Munchenehampton 
for a Chaplain to celebrate divine service daily in honour 
of the Virgin Mary." 

This foundation is all the more creditable to the 
Rector, who, if we may judge from the following extract, 
was not possessed of much ready money : — 

" John de Rous, Knight, William de Prestbury, 
parson of Munchenehampton, and John de Elkeston, 
acknowledge that they owe to Aylmer de Valentia, Earl 
of Pembroke, £80, to be levied in default of payment on 
their lands and chattels in counties Gloucester and 

This Chantry, as we shall see later on, continued to be 
served up to the time of the Reformation. 

Three Rectors now follow in quick succession, all ap- 
pointed by the King in the year 1349, owing to the temporaUties 
of the Abbey of Caen being in his hands during the war in 
France. Why two of them held the living for so short a time 
is not known, but possibly they moved to " better themselves." 

4. Stephen Mauleon, May 8, 1349. 

5. John de Houton, June 9, 1349. 

6. John de Middleton, August 18, 1349. He held the 
living till 1360, and is said to have also held the Canonry of 
Wingham, with the expectation of a prebend. 

7. Thomas de Toucestre, Sept. 6, 1360. He had been 
parson of Rushenden, in the Isle of Sheppey. 

8. William de Ferriby, Oct. 3, 1360. Appointed by 
the King (Edward III.) 

9. William Potyn, of whom I know nothing, except the 
exchange below. 

10. Matthew Harsfeld, Dec. 4, 1377. Was parson of 
the Church of Slymbrigg (Slimbridge), and exchanged livings 
with William Potyn. 


11. Alan Leverton, Sept. 30, 1390, " King's Clerk." 

12. Richard Alkerington, March 11, 1393 ; Doctor of 
Theology, exchanged livings with Thomas Wysebeck. 

13. Thomas Wysebeck, Feb, 22, 1407. Parson of the 
Church of Herford, otherwise Hertfeld, in the Diocese of 
Chichester, exchanged as above. There appears to have been 
a general unrest amongst the clergy at this time, as, besides 
those above-mentioned, we have another exchange in the 
same year. 

14. William Magot, June 14, 1407. Parson of the Church 
of Beryk St. John, in the diocese of Salisbury, on an exchange 
of benefices with Thomas Wysebeck. 

15. John Wodeford, March 18, 1411. Vicar of the 
Church of Asshton, in the Diocese of Salisbury, on exchange of 
benefices with William Magot. 

16. Robert Lover, Feb. 12, 1417. 

17. Richard Willys, August 13, 1441. Instituted at the 
" King's College of Eton, near Windsor," by John Carpenter, 
Bishop of Worcester ; presented by the Earl of Suffolk, to 
whom the presentation had been given on the confiscation of 
the temporalities of the aUen Convent of Caen. 

18. William Gyan, LL.B., 1456. Canon residentiary of 
the Cathedral Church of Sarum ; appointed by the Abbess and 
Convent of Syon. Resigned 1489. This is the first mention 
of the appointment of a Rector of Minchinhampton by the 
Abbess of Syon. 

19. Richard Gyan, Feb. 27, 1489. Appointed by the 
Abbess and Convent of Syon, on the resignation of the fore- 

20. John Reade, Bachelor in Theology, 1507. Appointed 
by the Abbess and Convent of Syon. 

21. Thomas Powell, 1538. Appointed by the Abbess 
(Agnes Jordan) and Convent of Syon. "Agnes Dei patientia 
Abbatissa Syon presentavit, 1538." 

22. Gilbert Bourne, 1551. Appointed by Sir Edmund 
Peckham,^ by assignment of a grant from Agnes, Abbess of 
Syon, 1539. 

« Sir Edmund Peckham was Lord of the Manor of Denham, Bucks., to which place, as before 
mentioned, Agnes Jordan retired, after the confiscation of Syon Abbey, by Henry VIII. 


Dr. Gilbert Bourne was one of the most celebrated of the 
Rectors of Minchinhampton. A son of Philip Bourne, of 
Worcestershire, he was elected Fellow of All Souls' in 1531. 
Ten years later he was made one of the first Prebendaries of 
Worcester, by Henry VIII; Archdeacon of Bedford, in 1549 ; 
Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1554, and Lord President of Wales. 
When Queen EUzabeth succeeded, he was deprived of his 
Bishopric for denying her supremacy, and died at Silverton, 
in Devonshire, where he is buried. 

23. Thomas Taylor, 1553. Appointed by William, Lord 

24. Thomas Freeman, M.A., 1575. Appointed by Sir 
Henry Carey, of whom I know nothing. 

25. George Byrch, D.D., 1584. Appointed by John 4 
Deane, whose burial is recorded in the parish registers : " John 
k Deane hujus Rectoriae Firmarius, sepultus 1602." By this 
it is probably meant that he was patron of the living and not 
farmer of its revenues. 

26. Anthony Lapthorne, D.D., 1612. Appointed by 
King James I. (pro hac vice). There is a well-known story of 
this Rector very much to his credit, which I transcribe from 
Wantner's MSS. History :— 

" In the reigne of King James, one Mr Lapthorne was 
Minister of Minchinhampton, and Chapline in Ordinarie 
to ye King before named, who, being at Court, attending 
his duety, went one evening to see his Majesty and his 
nobles play at Bowles, where were many persons of Honour 
and quality, and amongst them, His Grace George Abbot, 
Lord Archbishop of Canterbury was one. Now it hap- 
pened that whilst Mr Lapthorne was a spectator of their 
exercise, that the King laid a Bowie close to the Jack 
which ye Nobelman which bowled after ye King hit 
away, which put his Majesty into such a sudden passion 
that he began to swear at a most prodigious rate. Lap- 
thorne, standing by and hearing the King strongly to 
sweare, expected every moment when ye Lord Arch- 
bishop would modestly have admonished the King not 
to swear ; but when he perceived that he took httle or 
no notice thereof, Mr Lapthorne bouldly expressed 
himselfe as followeth {viz.), The King sweares, and the 


Nobles will sweare, and if the Nobles sweare, the Com- 
mons they will sweare, and what a swearing Kingdom we 
shall have. And for you, my Lord Archbishop, that 
hath the immediate charge of his Majestic 's soule, and to 
hear him swear and take God's sacred name in vaine, 
and to have never a word for God's sake, I will say to you 
as once Paul said to Ananias (though in another case), 
" Thou painted wall, God will smite thee." Which 
reasonable though rash reproof (saith my author) workt 
so great a Reformation in ye Court that if the King heard 
any man to swear he would bid them not to swear, for 
Lapthorne was comeing." 

27. Henry Fowler, M.A., 1618. Appointed by Michael 
Halyday, probably descendant of Edward Haliday, whose 
brass, as already mentioned, is in Minchinhampton Church, 
There is a great deal to be said of this Rector, and the persecu- 
tion he endured, which I must defer to another Chapter. 
He was assessed for " ship money " at £1 los. 

During the Commonwealth there were frequent " In- 
truders " in every parish where the Incumbent was opposed, 
or accused of being opposed, to the Puritans. I do not know 
how far these Intruders were officially appointed, but in many 
cases they turned the clergy out of their pulpits and churches, 
and even out of their houses. Walker, in his " Sufferings of 
the Clergy," gives a long list of Intruders in many parishes in 
Gloucestershire ; amongst others, two are mentioned at 
Minchinhampton, named respectively Doleman and Heme, 
and there is also a record of one Thomas Worden, the Intruder 
at Chipping Norton, and afterwards of Nailsworth, but I 
rather doubt whether Doleman was an intruder. 

In all probability Fowler did not long survive the ill- 
treatment he received in 1643, but the registers during the 
Civil War and the Commonwealth are so defective that it is 
difficult to unravel some of the intricacies. For this reason 
I have no information of the date of Fowler's death, but the 
following note in the Register may help us a little : — 

28. " William Doleman, Minister of Minchinhampton, 
died on the 8th day of April and was buried on the 12th day 
of April, 1649." Walker also mentions Doleman as having 
succeeded Fowler, and in connection with this Rector there is 
this curious entry in the Registers : — " Resolved uppon the 


question that all the glass of the windows and that all the doors, 
wainscots and benches that are left remaine a deed of gift 
to the parsonage house of Minchinhampton. Provided alwaies 
that if there come any claims or suite of law from any succeeding 
minister, or any other persons what-so-ever for dilapida- 
tions, that then this p'sent act be voyde to all intents and 
purposes as if it had never been made." This entry is signed 
" Will. Doleman." 

29. Samuel Hieron or Hearn. This name occurs as 
Rector in the Lambeth MSS. in 1654 and 1655. Walker 
mentions him as an intruder, which he probably was, and he 
may have been ejected at the Restoration to make way for 
Dr Warmestree. 

Samuel Clift, a Clothier of Avening was committed to 
Gloucester prison, charged with " mahciously molesting and 
interrupting Samuel Hearn" in the Church of Minchinhampton. 
The constable who arrested him set him in the Stocks ; and 
the Magistrate, who committed him, savagely struck him two 
or three blows, but upon his trial it came out that his only 
offence was that of standing silent in the Church with his hat 
on, and the Jury therefore acquitted him. The same Samuel 
Clift, with others, was also dragged from a meeting at Short- 
wood and taken to prison at Gloucester. 

30. Thomas Warmestree, D.D., 1660 ; also appointed 
by Michael Halyday. Dr. Warmestree was a student of 
Christ Church in 1624, ^^^ was created a D.D. in 1642. At the 
Restoration in 1660, he was appointed a Prebendary of 
Gloucester, and Rector of Minchinhampton, and subsequently 
Dean of Worcester. He was a prohfic writer on Theological 
subjects, and he was evidently a Conformist, as, although the 
Act of Uniformity was passed during his incumbency of 
Minchinhampton, he continued to hold his preferments until 
his death. 

31. John Farrer, 1665. The living had now passed into 
the hands of the Sheppards, and this Rector was accordingly 
appointed by PhiHp Sheppard. He held the benefice for 
52 years, the longest incumbency of any of the Rectors. 

32. Ralph Willett, 1717. Appointed by Samuel Shep- 



33. Philip Sheppard, 1720. Appointed by his father, 
Samuel Sheppard. We have already given an account of 
this Rector's life. 

34. Robert Salusbury Heaton, 1768. Appointed by 
Edward Sheppard, as mentioned in Ch. VII. 

35. John White, D.D. Appointed by Edward Sheppard 

36. Hon. Harbottle Grimston, 1778. A member of the 
Verulam family. Appointed by Edward Sheppard. 

37. Henry Charles Jefferies, 1786. Also appointed 
by Edward Sheppard. 

38. William Cockin, 1806. Appointed by Joseph Pitt. 
Numberless stories are told of this Rector. He was originally 
Curate both of Minchinhampton and Cherington, and after 
officiating at the former place, it is said, in top boots, he used 
to gallop off on his horse, which was waiting outside, to do duty 
at Cherington. There is a story of the manner in which he 
became Rector of Minchinhampton, which, if true, is perhaps 
not altogether to Mr Cockin's credit. Mr Joseph Pitt, soHcitor, 
of Cirencester, either owned, or acted for the owner of the 
Advowson. On the Living becoming vacant in 1806, Mr Pitt 
expressed a doubt, in Mr Cockin's hearing, as to whom he 
should appoint, and, as the story goes, Cockin immediately 
said : " I bet you £1,000 you don't appoint me." The bet 
was taken and Cockin became Rector. There is a much 
pleasanter story of Mr Cockin, which, by the kindness of 
Miss Cockin, his great niece, I am able to give. 

During his Curacy he became the owner of The Lammas, 
together with the rest of the Pinfold Estate, by the demise of 
the last two owners, who were elderly maiden ladies. The 
will of the Misses Pinfold was disputed on behalf of two minors 
who were next-of-kin, one of these being the late Mr Edward 
Pinfold Wesley, who lived to a very advanced age at Nails- 
worth. Mr Cockin won the suit, and the following extract 
from a speech by Thomas, Lord Erskine, who had been the 
defendant's counsel, gives the reason for the old ladies' be- 
quest : — 

" Two old maids in a country town, being quizzical 
in their dress and demeanour, were not infrequently the sport 
of the idle boys in the market place, and, being so beset 
on their way to Church, a young Curate, who had just 


been appointed there, reproved the urchins as he passed 
in his gown and cassock, and, offering an arm to each of 
the ladies, conducted them triumphantly into their pew 
near the pulpit. A great intimacy followed, and dying 
not long afterwards they left him all they had. The will 
was disputed, and when I rose in my place to establish it 
I related the story and said : ' Such, gentlemen of the 
jury, is the value of small courtesies. In my first speech 
here I was browbeaten by the Judge upon the Bench, 
and honest Jack Lee took my part. When he died he 
left me this bag, and I need not say how much I value it. 
It shall serve me while I live, and when I die I will be 
buried in it.' " 

Mr Cockin continued to live at the Lammas, where he 
dispensed great hospitahty to his friends and neighbours. His 
guests used to sit round the fire after dinner in high " bee- 
hive " chairs, some of which are still to be seen in the neigh- 
bourhood, each with a small table and a bottle of port beside 
him. Cockin died March 3rd, 1841, aged 75 years, leaving a 
large cellar of wine, the sale of which, together with his furni- 
ture and other effects, lasted 8 days, between May nth and 
2ist. He was a very good natured, hospitable man, very 
charitable to the poor, and a great favourite with his pa- 
rishioners, many of whom he used to rebuke by name in his 

39. Charles Whately, 1841. Appointed by David 
Ricardo. ♦ 

40. Edward Colnett Oldfield, 1865. Appointed by 
Henry David Ricardo. 

41. Frank Albert Mather, 1885. Appointed by Capt. H. 
G. Ricardo, R.A. 

42. Edward Lonsdale Bryans, 1896. Appointed by 
Major Ricardo. 

43. Frederick Douglas Bateman, 1912. Also appointed 
by Major Ricardo. 

At the time of writing, the Rev. F. D. Bateman is about 
to resign the Incumbency, and the Rev. F. W. Sears, at present 
Vicar of Nailsworth, has been appointed in his stead by 
Lt.-Col. H. G. Ricardo, R.A. Mr Sears will therefore be the 
44th Rector of Minchinhampton. 

minchinhampton and avening 8l 

Chantry Priests at Minchinhampton 

^Chantries existed in England as early as the 12th cen- 
tury. According to Dr Hook, even the sanction of the Bishop 
of the Diocese was not required for their foundation. They 
were set up under the general authority of the Pope. In the 
earhest period there were no restraints upon their endowment, 
but, after the passing of the Mortmain Acts, the King's license 
was required for the assignment of lands for the purpose. 

Special Chapels, generally within the Church, but some- 
times outside, were frequently erected by persons of wealth 
and rank to receive the Altars at which the Chantry, or " Sing- 
ing Priests," officiated, praying for the souls of all the faithful 
departed in general, and those of the founder and his kin in 
particular. A special chapel was not necessary for the estab- 
lishment of the Chantry, as these offices might be said at any 
of the Altars within the Church. Some of these Chantry 
Chapels were afterwards used as family burial places, and 
in the time of their glory were of exquisite design and work- 
manship, and formed beautiful additions to the Church 
buildings. Even now, notwithstanding the neglect from which 
they have for centuries suffered, they add greatly to the 
picturesque effect of the ancient Churches. 

The relations which existed between the parochial clergy 
and the chantry priests are rather obscure. Where there were 
special chapels no difficulties would probably arise, but in 
cases in which they had to celebrate at the same altars, friction 
might easily take place. 

The following are the only names of chantry priests which 
I have been able to discover : — 

Thomas de Chalkford, presented in 1341 to the chantry 
of the Blessed Mary in the Church of Hampton MoniaUum, by 
William de Prestbury, Rector of the said Church. This appears 
to be the first priest appointed to officiate in this chantry after 
its foundation by William de Prestbury. 

Peter Avenynge, appointed to the same chantry, 1348. 

Peter de Ashwell appointed to the same chantry in 
1349, by WiUiam de Prestbury. As we have seen, there was a 
great unrest amongst the Rectors in 1349, ^.nd apparently also 
amongst the chantry priests. 

I Sir John Maclean in B. & G. Arch. Trans., Vol. VIII., p. 249. 


Philip Arena presented to the same chantry by John 
de Middleton, Rector of the Church of Hampton, also in 1349. 
This presentation is from the Register of the Priory of Wood- 
chester, during the vacancy of the See (Sede vacante), folio 128. 

Geoffry Wyke, probably appointed by Dr Richard 
Alkeryngton in 1405. 

John Smyth, appointed in 1458, by WilUam Gyan, 
rector to the " Chantry of the Blessed Mary in the cemetery 
of the Church of the Holy Trinity of Minchinhampton." 

Richard Gravener, last chantry priest, pensioned about 
1547. During that year, or perhaps rather earlier, a com- 
mission was appointed to enquire into the revenues of Chantries, 
and to recommend for pensions the priests who had ministered 
in them and had been left without means of subsistence, owing 
to the confiscations at the time of the Reformation. An 
inventory was also to be taken of all plate and jewels remaining, 
though this does not seem to have brought in much, either 
because portable valuables had already been confiscated, or 
had been hidden by the priests. The pensions do not seem to 
have erred on the side of generosity, though allowance must 
be made for the greater value of money at that time. 

The following is the Certificate of the appointment of the 
Commission : — 

" The Countie of Gloucetur with the Cities of Bris- 
towe and Gloucetur. 

The Certificat off Anthony Hungerforde Walter 
Bucler William Sharyngton & Milez Partridge knightes 
Arthure Porter Richarde Tracye Thomas Throckemerton 
Esquyers Thomas Sterneholde and Richard Patg Gentil- 
men Commyssioners appointed by vertue of the Kingg 
maiestiez Commyssion beringe the date xiiijth daye of 
ffebruarie in the Secounde yere of the reigne of Edwarde 
the Sixthe by the grace of godd kynge of Englonde 
ffraunce and Irelonde Defendo'^ of the faith and in this 
Churche of Englonde and also of Irelande supreme hedde 
vnto theym directed to take the Survey of all Colledges 
Chauntriez ffreechappellg and other like within the 
saied Countie and Cities as hereafter ensuythe." 

The enquiries of the Commission seem to have been of a 
very exhaustive nature, and elaborate reports were drawn up. 


The following relates to Minchinhampton, and to the chantry 
founded by William de Prestbury in 1338 : — 

The P'ishe of Minchynghampton within the deanery 
aforeseid [Stonehouse] where are of houseling people 


Oure lady Chauntry. 

ffounded by one Wittm Prestbury & other & the landg 
putt in feoffm* w*^ thissuez & pfittg whereof there 
hath ben a pryest manteigned singing dayly at 
thalter of o'^ lady in a Chapell situate w*^in thep ishe 
Churche yard & evy holyday to helpe to singe the 
dyv5nie Suice in the Same Churche & to praye for the 
founders sowle & all xpen sowles. 

S*" Richard Gravener Inciibent there of thage of Ix yeres 
having no other ly ving then in the seid suice which 

is yerely vj^' 

The landg & tentg belonging to the same are of the yerely 
value of - - - viij'^ xvij^ iij^ ol5 whereof 

In rep^sez yerely xxv^ j^ ob 

And so remayneth clere by yere - - vij'^ xij^ij'* 
Ornamentg plate and Juellg to the same - - noone 

The foregoing extract shows that Prestbury's chantry 
was not within the Church, but outside in a chapel of its own. 
I have heard that at the Restoration in 1842 a pavement with 
many incised gravestones was discovered near the present 
west entrance, and this may have been the site of the chantry 
chapel. It is also quite possible that dame Alice Hampton's 
bell was given by her as a Sanctus Bell for the use of this 
Chapel, which, having been allowed to fall into decay, was 
pulled down. The bell was subsequently sold for the use of 
the second Market house, on the demohtion of which it came 
into the possession of the writer's grandfather, as already 

There is also an entry by the Commissioners to some 
charity land at Avening, which appears to have been con- 

Obitte landg in the seid poche 

To the yerelie value of - - - vj^ viij^ whereof 
Distributed to the pore yerely , - - ij* viij'^ 






HENRY FOWLER became Rector of Minchinhampton in 
1618. He was probably one of the Gloucestershire 
Fowlers, a branch of which family held the manor of Stone- 
house for many generations. He had a son also named Henry, 
of whom Bigland, quoting Wood, says : " Henry Fowler, of 
Oriel College, who, after he had become a graduate, served 
very faithfully in his Majesty's Army during the grand Rebel- 
lion, and afterwards betook himself to the study of Physic, 
which he did with good success in his own country." He was 
quite a celebrated physician, and an alderman of Gloucester, 
and he also presented 14 valuable MSS. collected by him to 
the Cathedral College Library. He died March i6th, 1678. 

It may be imagined that neither the father nor the son 
were hkely to be looked on with favour by the Roundhead 
party, and they especially incurred the wrath of one Jeremy 
Buck, a captain in the Parhamentary Army. This man 
has a remarkable history. He was the son of a mercer, of 
Minchinhampton, of the same name, and was probably born 
about 1620. He married, March nth, 1641, Ursula, eldest 
daughter of William Selwyn, of Matson, who was baptized at 
Stonehouse in 1632, and therefore as an adult, but I have no 
record of the date of her birth. The first mention of Jeremy 
Buck occurs in January, 1642, just before the investment and 
capture of Cirencester by Prince Rupert. He was serving as 
a captain in the Parliamentary army, and in a tract of the time 
appears this record, very little to his credit : — 


"Captain Buck (a busie mercer, of Hampton Rode)^ 
had a coward's wit with him, and that morning shifted him- 
selfe out of the towne under pretence to fetch in more forces." 
By this dishonourable trick he escaped the dangers of the siege 
and subsequent pillage of the town. 

The following account of his persecution of the Rev. 
Henry Fowler is taken from Walker's " Sufferings of the 
Clergy," pp. 242-243, and appears to be transcribed from an 
earher work, " Mercurius Rusticus, or the Countries Com- 
plaint " (London, 1685) : — 

" I have no direct information of this sequestration, 
and only guess at it from the Greatness of his other Sufferings, 
which were these. On New Year's Day, 1643, a Party of 
Souldiers, sent by one Captain Buck, came to his House, and, 
finding him by the Fire, seized him as their Prisoner, and, 
though he readily submitted to them, yet one of them took 
him by the throat, and held the point of his Sword to his 
Breast ; two more presented their Pistols to him, another 
shook his Poll-Ax over his Head, and others beat him with 
their Poll-Axes, Railing at him for Reading Common Prayer, 
and His Majesty's Proclamation, calling him Mass-Priest, 
Rogue, Rascal, with other contumehous language, as " Sirrah, 
you can furnish the King with a Musquet, a Corslet, and a 
Light Horse, but thou old Knave, thou canst not find any- 
thing at all for the Parliament." He was at that time sixty- 
two years of age, and had a Lameness upon him in one of his 
Hips ; but without regard to either age or lameness, they 
fell on him again with their Poll-Axes, and beat him, and 
bruised him in such a Barbarous manner that they made him 
a very cripple, without all possibiUty of Recovering the use 
of his Limbs ; and to enhance the Inhumanity of this out- 
rage, all this was done in the Presence of his Wife and Children, 
who, with bended knees, entreated mercy and Compassion for 
him ; but all in vain, for instead of that some of the kindred 
and Friends of Captain Buck, who had sent them on this 
errand, stood by, jeering, and clapt their hands for Joy. This 
most accursed treatment of poor old Mr Fowler, threw him into 
a Bleeding, which lasted six hours ; insomuch that he was not 
able to stand. The next day likewise he lost his Retentive 
Faculty, in which wretched condition he continued very near 

« Bibliotheca Gloucestrensis, p. 164 (Minchinhampton is frequently referred to as Hamptoa 
Rode, or road, during the Civil VVar.) 


a month. Nor was this all, for by the many contusions and 
knocks which he received on his Head with their Poll-Axes, 
he lost his Hearing, which was not for some time, if ever, 
perfectly recover' d. At the same time also they rifled his 
House, particularly his Study, and took away all that was of 
value and portable. 

" This usage one would think would have satisfied the 
most invetrate Rancor and Malice in the World, but it seems 
that Captain Buck was not of that opinion : and therefore 
some months after he comes in person to Mr Fowler's house : 
breaks open the window of his Son's Study, who was a Phy- 
sician ; enters the house that way, and destroyed several 
things of very great value in the way of Physick as extract 
of Pearl, Aurum Potabile, Confection of Amber, pearl in 
Boxes, Bezoar stone, Compound Waters, etc. Upon which 
one of Mr Fowler's daughters telling Buck that he might be 

ashamed to spoil such things : He presently called her 

and knocked her down with his Poll-Ax ; and being risen again 
knocked her down a second time, and after that a third time, 
and would no doubt a Fourth, had she then been able to rise 
again. Upon which Mrs Fowler asking him if he thought 
'twas possible for her to stand by and see her Child murdered. 
Buck presently, without any regard either to her age, or sex, 
caught her by the throat, knock'd her down ; and when down, 
kick's her, and trampl'd on her with his Feet. After which 
he and his Rabble plundered the House, and so departed. 
If this monstrous Barbarity exceeds Belief, let it be known 
that August i8, 1643, it was deposed upon oath before Sir 
Robert Heath, Lord Chief Justice of the King's-Bench." 

Another outrage perpetrated by the same Jeremy Buck 
on the Rev. Humphrey Jasper, Vicar of South Cerney, is 
recorded by Walker.^ This unfortunate man venturing to 
read the Common Prayer in his Church, was plundered of all 
that he possessed, and, "as he was going to Oxford for the 
security of his life, he was taken prisoner by the Parliament 
forces. After some time he made his escape to the city of 
Gloucester to a son he had there, a clergyman who enter- 
tained him privately, until Cirencester was taken by the King's 
forces, and, then coming home to South Cerney, he was forced 
to take stra wricks and hayricks for his lodging. About which 

I Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy ; p. aSz. 


time the Parliament soldiers took him prisoner again, and forced 
him to preach a sermon to a great number of their Officers and 
Soldiers with many of the Parishioners, but for all that he had 
so much courage as to speak in the pulpit against their Parlia- 
mentary Proceedings, and made a comparison that if Lucifer 
was in Heaven, he did not presume to sit in God's throne, but 
he thought the Devil was in the Parliament in sitting in the 
King's throne. Upon which the common soldiers would have 
killed him before he came out of the church had it not been 
for their officers. However, they guarded him to his own house, 
and afterwards brought him over to Cirencester, and Captain 
Buck, one of their officers, threatened to hang him on the 
King's Head sign post there, which would have been done if 
John George, Esq., and Col. Fettiplace had not got him out 
of their hands and sent him home under a guard." The 
foregoing account is signed by Humphrey Jasper, eldest son 
of the Vicar. 

These outrages were by no means isolated cases ; on the 
contrary, almost every Royalist clergyman in England suffered 
persecution in a greater or less degree. In the neighbouring 
parish of Woodchester, the Rector, the Rev. John Feribee, 
was treated with great brutality, as the following account, 
also taken from Walker, will show : — 

" Feribee, John — He was Rector of Woodchester, in 
Gloucestershire, and, as he was one day at the Font, a party 
of Massy's soldiers came in with drawn swords, pulled off his 
surplice (which one of them, putting on, wore on his way 
back), tore the Common Prayer Book, stript him of all his 
clothes, except a pair of drawers, and drove him (with many 
others) bare-footed and bare-legged, thro' thick and thin, 
in cold, wet and dirty ways, and weather, prisoners into 
Gloucester, where they were kept for many days in a damp 
low room under the College School, without a fire. Three 
daughters of one Mr Portlock, of Cirencester, hearing of his 
misery, made up a sum of money to Ransome him, which they 
sent by one J. Green way, a Parliament soldier (and a kins- 
man to them) who had the conscience to keep every farthing 
to himself. This Green way was a poor butcher, but by plunder- 
ing had gotten a considerable estate, which after wasted as 
fast as he had got it, and his children wanted before they 


Jeremy Buck had nothing to do with the latter outrage, 
as the scene of his activities was in other parts of the County, 
and, moreover, he does not appear to have served in the 
Pariiamentary army during the siege of Gloucester. It seems 
strange that a man of his character, and a Roundhead too, 
should have married into so aristocratic a Royalist family 
as the Selwyns, of Matson, one of whom, Jeremy Buck's father- 
in-law, entertained Charles I. with his sons, Charles and James, 
at Matson House, for twenty-six days, during the abortive 
attempt to capture Gloucester in August and the early part 
of September, 1643. After his marriage, Jeremy Buck 
blossomed out as an Esquire, with a coat of arms containing 
three bucks-heads, which he impaled with those of Selwyn ; 
probably, like many others, he enriched himself by plunder 
taken from the Royalists, which enabled him to purchase this 
honour. There is the following inscription in Minchin- 
hampton Church on a tablet in memory of Jeremy Buck, 
under the Arms impaled as above : — 

Piae Memoriae Jeremiae Bucke. 

Arm. qui cum 35 soles. 

Enumeravit fato correptus proepropero^ 

die Dominico ante Nativitatem Christi 

Vitam cum Morte commutavit 

Maestissima conjux Ursula Bucke 

Hoc Marmor erigi curavit. 

Jeremy Buck had a son and two daughters by Ursula. 
The son and eldest daughter died unmarried, and only the 
younger daughter married. All three, together with their 
father, are buried at Minchinhampton. The name is spelt 
Bucke in the epitaph, but in all the other memorials, in- 
cluding Jeremy's father's, the name is spelt " Buck." 

Whatever Jeremy Buck's character may have been, there 
is nothing but good to be said of Ursula, who seems to have 
been a most devoted wife and mother, though it is strange 
that her influence, coming as she did from a Royalist family, 
was not sufficient to deter her husband from his more violent 
acts, which occurred after their marriage. A few years sub- 
sequent to Jeremy Buck's death, Ursula married Thomas 
Tooke, of Elmestree, near Tetbury, whom she survived. 
She appears to have come back to Minchinhampton after the 

' So given in Bigland. The word is now illegible. 


death of her second husband, as three of her children by him 
are buried there. Tooke is buried at Tetbury, where there is 
a monument to him, but I cannot trace the date of Ursula's 
death or the place of her burial. She left some charities, 
which are thus recorded : — 

" Mrs Ursula Tooke, of this town in the year 1698 (as 
well at the request of her son Jeremy Buck, Gent., as of her 
own charitable inchnation), settled lands in trust, by estima- 
tion, twenty acres in the west field of Minchinhampton, and 
gave eighty pounds for improving the same, for the following 
uses for ever, to wit, 40 shillings a year to be paid to the 
Trustees, their Heirs and assigns, for their care in the said 
trust, eight pounds for keeping at school six boys, and finding 
them books, and £5 yearly to four poor people. If the rent 
of the said lands should exceed or fall short of 15 pounds per 
annum, a proportionable addition or abatement is to be made 
in the schoolmaster's salary, and in the annuities to the poor 

The request of Jeremy Buck, junior, must have remained 
in abeyance during Ursula's Marriage to Thomas Tooke, as 
he died May 2nd, 1668, and his death is thus recorded on 
his tomb-stone : — 

To the happy Memorie of 

Jeremiah Buck, Batchelor, 

the eldest son of 

Jeremiah Buck, Esq., 

And of Ursula, his wife. 

Who died May 2nd, 1668. 

The bequest, therefore, was not made until 30 years after 
the death of Jeremiah Buck, junior. This charity at the 
present time produces £30 p. annum, but I have never heard 
of the Trustees claiming 40s p. annum for their care of the 
Trust. The income is now devoted to the payment of 
annuities of 4 guineas each to four poor widows, and the 
balance is merged in the Minchinhampton Educational Found- 

Ursula's receipt for " Plumb pudding " is still in existence, 
and those who have used it say that it is a very good one. 




IT is fortunate that Avening Church escaped the ruthless 
restoration inflicted on the sister Church at Minchin- 
hampton, and that it was left unrestored to a time when 
ancient Church architecture and archaeology were better 
understood and appreciated. Thus one of the most interesting 
churches in the County has been preserved for us ; and though 
some mutilations have occurred during the eight centuries 
which have passed since its foundation, much of the ancient 
structure still remains, and now that incongruities have been 
swept away, and the fabric reverently restored, it stands as 
a beautiful and, let us hope, lasting monument of ancient 
church architecture. 

There is no evidence of a church having existed at Avening 
in Saxon times, and, if there was one, all trace of it has dis- 
appeared. There is also no authentic record of the date of 
the building of the earher Norman part of the present church, 
nor have I as yet been able to discover the date of its consecra- 
tion and dedication to the Holy Rood, or Cross, but it was 
probably erected towards the end of the nth century, or the 
beginning of the i2th. The remains of the ancient Norman 
Church, which still exist, bear the easily recognised family 
resemblance to those which are still to be seen in this County 
and in Normandy, though in the latter there is usually evidence 
of a refinement of detail and enrichment which marks the 
French workman as compared with his English neighbour. 
In each case we see the same massive walls, pierced by small 
round-headed windows without mullions, deeply recessed and 
splayed inwards, arcades and doorways with bold semi- 
circular arches and large and simple mouldings, or decorated 








with the characteristic chevron or other ornaments ; very 
flat buttresses, if any at all, and a general solidity and grandeur 
of structure which belongs to no other style of mediaeval 

The Church, however, as it now stands, is of many dates, 
the original having been altered and added to at various 
times. It is cruciform in plan, and consists of a nave 42' X 22', 
with a shallow aisle on the north side and a north porch ; 
a tower in the centre of the Church, with a north transept 
16' 6" X 21', and a south transept 18' X 13' 6", a chancel 
33' X 16' 6", and from indications which still remain there 
was a small chapel, perhaps a Lady chapel, in the angle formed 
by the junction of the chancel and the north transept. On 
the site of this chapel a piscina still exists outside the northern 
wall of the chancel ; the eastern foundations of this chapel 
can also be traced. Some tiles and other relics were found 
on the spot, and a piece of molten metal, from which it is 
inferred that the chapel was possibly destroyed by fire. 

We may now endeavour to trace the successive alterations 
and additions to the Church, and the time at which they were 
probably made. 

The Norman church, a great part of which still remains, 
consisted, so far as we can see from the existing walls, of a nave 
with north and south doorways and an arcade of two arches 
opening into a short narrow aisle or chapel. There was a 
tower between the nave and chancel, having a groined roof, 
with arches on the east and west sides towards the chancel 
and nave, and windows high up on the north and south sides. 
There was also a chancel with groined roof, the eastern wall 
of which has been removed, and, consequently, there is now 
no evidence on which we can form an opinion as to whether 
the chancel had an apse or square end ; the former was usual 
in Normandy, but less common in England. 

In this Norman edifice numerous alterations were made 
in the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, and probably in the 
following order : — 

To the nave was added the present north aisle, and to the 
tower two transepts, with arches constructed in the old Norman 
walls of the tower, giving access to them. To this period also 
probably belongs the small north chapel mentioned above, 
opening into the chancel by a doorway, the jambs of which 


are still to be seen. At a later date were added the eastern 
and western windows. The next important change was the 
addition of the eastern bay of the chancel, a work of great 
artistic merit. It is groined in stone, and the vaulting ribs are 
so arranged as to harmonise with the lines and proportions of 
the earlier vault. The piscina still remains, and, though 
mutilated, it was originally a feature of great beauty, and 
perhaps some of the fragments of the beautiful stone carving 
found under the flooring of the Church at its restoration may 
have formed part of this. The object of this extension of the 
chancel is not certain, but Mr Carpenter suggests that it was 
perhaps to provide a Lady Chapel in place of the one on the 
north side, said to have been burnt down. 

At a rather later date, and probably in the 14th century, 
two of the southern windows of the nave were inserted, as well 
as the beautiful northern and eastern windows of the north 
transept. To this period also belong the fine timber roof of 
the nave and the buttresses against the south wall, which shews 
signs of having inchned outwards. Lastly, the upper stage 
and battlements of the tower were added, and also the parvise 
over the north porch. The floor of the parvise has now been 
removed to shew the beautiful head of the Norman doorway. 
The west wall of the nave above the ancient door is of modem 
construction. It is said that the old west window was blown 
in during service in the early part of the igth century, and the 
present two-hght round-headed window was then erected in 
its place. 

^" The porch is of two dates. When constructed in the 
13th century it had only one story, the roof of which was clear 
of the Norman door on the north side ; but in the 15th century 
it was divided into two stories, the upper one serving as a 
parvise or porch, and probably also as a priest's lodging. The 
Norman arch fortunately survived all the many restorations, 
and is of great beauty and interest. The capitals, which rest 
on twisted shafts, are carved on the east side with two lions, 
which appear to merge into a grotesque human face." The 
access to the priest's lodging was probably a low archway, still 
there, and a' communication may have existed to this doorway 
from the rood loft stairs by a floor, which probably existed 
over the north aisle. 

I Rev. Canon Bazeley in B. & G. Trans., Vol. XXII, p. 15. 







On entering the Church, two curious carvings are to be 
seen built into the wall. Dr. Fryer says of these fragments : — 
^" Two fragments belonging to a Norman font are built into 
the ancient Church at Avening. One small, sadly mutilated 
fragment (7" x 7") indicates that it once formed a fraction of 
a rectangular stone font ornamented with a round-headed 
arch, supported by a pillar and a wall bracket. The larger 
part of this rectangular bowl is in the north wall of the nave, 
and forms part of the internal jamb of the north door. This 
fragment is sufficiently large (2' 2^" X i' if) to show that 
the bowl was originally 2f feet in length. The Avening 
font has an arcade of rudely cut, round-headed arches, sup- 
ported alternately on pillars and wall brackets, containing three 
pairs of figures. Five figures still remain, and one circular 
pillar, supporting the arcade, has its capital and base. The 
apostles were so frequently sculptured on Norman fonts that 
it is probable the bowl at Avening had six apostles on the one 
side and six on the other, while the two other faces would doubt- 
less be ornamented in some other way." 

Avening church was fortunate in having for its restorer 
so eminent an architect as the late Mr Micklethwaite, who 
preserved all its ancient features, where possible, and inserted 
no new work unless it was absolutely necessary for the security 
of the building. A most unfortunate accident happened 
during the restoration. The foundations of the tower and of 
the south wall of the nave, together with the buttresses, had 
been excavated and securely underpinned, and the workmen 
were engaged in making equally secure the centre pillar of 
the north aisle arcade, when, without warning, the pillar slid 
into an open vault beneath the floor of the aisle, and fell down, 
bringing with it a great part of the nave and the north aisle, 
the workmen being barely able to escape without injury. It 
was fortunate indeed that so much underpinning had been 
done, otherwise, in Mr Micklethwaite's opinion, the tower 
would have fallen and the Church would have become a heap 
of ruins. As it was, the loss occasioned a further expenditure 
of about £500, which the building committee had to raise. 

There is a quaint Commonwealth table, formerly used as 
a Communion table in the chancel, and now dedicated to the 

I Trans. B. 8c G. Arch. Soc., Vol. XXXIV, pp 196-7 


same purpose, on the site of the ancient parish altar, bearing 
this inscription : — 

Hohness unto the Lord 
Hallelujah Salvacion and Glory 

J. 1657 R. 
T. 1657 W. 
Giles Whiting 

There are the remains of another altar, also decorated 
with the Chevron, in a similar position on the opposite side 
of the nave. 

The Avening bells originally numbered five. One is 
by Abraham Rudhall, inscribed " Prosperity to this Parish, 
1756." Three are dated Anno Domini 1628, and one with 
no date. 

About 1830 the treble bell at Cherington was stolen and 
set up in Avening tower to make a ring of six. A vulgar 
error prevailed in the locality that if a bell could be taken from 
one tower, and put in another without the thieves being 
caught in the act, there was no redress. This was not the 
view taken by the Judge when the case was tried at the assizes, 
and all implicated in the theft sentenced to six months 
hard labour. Some local ballads on the subject are still 
remembered in Avening. 

Monuments Within the Church 

In the south transept are some elaborate monuments to 
the Driver family, who owned the estates of Aston and Lowes- 
moor, reputed manors within the manor of Avening, for 
several generations. John Driver died in 1681, aged 85, 
and his wife in 1675, aged 73. Charles, their son, died in 1696, 
aged five years, and the second son, Matthew, who was a Fellow 
of All Souls College, Oxford, also died in 1661, aged 27. There- 
upon the estate devolved upon the third son, John, who died 
in 1687, aged 51, to whom there is a very florid monumental 
effigy depicting a bewigged man, holding a civic crown in one 
hand and the other resting upon a skull. There is also an 
inscription in Latin and Greek, attributing many virtues to 
him, and recording that the monument was erected by his widow 
Elizabeth at her own cost. There are many more inscrip- 
tions on fiat stones to members of the Driver family, the 
widow of the last of whom sold Aston to one Beresford, who 


resold it to the Estcourts of Estcourt House, and Losemoor 
to the Slopers, of Tetbury. Both estates were subsequently 
bought by Mr Lowsley, whose great grandson, Mr Geo. Lowsley 
Williams, of Chavenage, is the present owner, both of Aston 
and Losemoor. 

There is also a monument to Dr Browne, who bought 
Avening Court from the Sheppards, and at his death it was 
bought by William Playne, senior. 

By far the most remarkable monument in Avening Church 
is that to Henry Brydges, in the north aisle. It represents a 
man kneeling on a cushion in the attitude of prayer. He is 
partly dressed in armour, and wears long hair and beard. 
Below is the following inscription : — 

" Here lyeth the body of Henry Brydges 
Esquoir son to John Lord Chandos 
Baron of Shewdley who departed this life 
the 24th day of Januari Anno Dom. 1615." 

There are many local traditions connected with this 
Henry Brydges. He is said to have lived at the house now 
called the Church Farm, though I think it is more likely that 
he lived at Avening Court, and to have been a notorious high- 
wayman ; and there are stories of horses shod hind before, 
and of the terror which he created in the whole countryside, 
Mrs Dent^ (Annals of Winchcombe and Sudeley, p. 214) 
says : " Henry the fourth son of the first Lord Chandos of 
Sudeley, according to his father's will, must have been left 
with very slender means ; and having in those times of peace 
no vent for his love of adventure, he is said to have followed 
the life of a freebooter, indulging in deeds of lawlessness and 
robbery almost surpassing our modern powers of belief. We 
can readily imagine how the almost impassable roads, thick 
woods, and broken ground of this neighbourhood must have 
aided the young nobleman in his first steps as a freebooter." 
Besides being a highwayman, Henry Brydges was also a 
pirate, as the following extract will show : — 

161 1. James L granted to Henry Brydges, of Avening, 
County of Gloucester, a pardon for piracy, which is recorded 
in these words, "And whereas Henry Brydges, formerly of 

' Mrs Dent says he married the eldest daughter of Samuel Sheppard of Avening. This is 
manifestly an error, as Samuel Sheppard was a boy of thirteen at the time of the death of Henry 
Brydges, and did not acquire the Avening estate till 1651. Moreover, both his daughters died in 


Avening, in the County of Gloucester, and others on the 20th 
day of February, in the 23rd year of the reign of Her Majesty 
Ehzabeth, late Queen of England, France, and Ireland, did 
arm and supply with gunpowder, picks, darts and other 
weapons of warlike nature, the aforesaid ships called the 
Salamander, of the port of Bristol, and the Mary Grace, of 
Penzance, on the coast of Cornwall, and did feloniously send 
the same to sea, and support, aid, and abet John Kirkham and 
Thomas Maid, the respective captains and others their ac- 
complices and associates, in perpetrating piracy on the afore- 
said ship the Whalefishe and its cargo of salt, hemp, and coined 
metal. Know all men that we by our clemency by this our 
word of grace spoken and exercised, and by this our act, do 
pardon, remit, relax and condone and forgive the said Henry 
Brydges, formerly of Avening, in the county of Gloucester, 
Merchant." The Whalefishe was a Danish ship belonging 
to Copenhagen, and the privateers took from it a quantity of 
salt valued at ^^30, some flax, and £90 in Spanish coin. Severin 
Severeinson, described as " the guardian under God and 
Captain of the Whalefishe," went back to his home at Elsinore, 
and set the law in motion against Brydges and his captains. 
What happened to the latter is not stated, but Henry Brydges 
was pardoned and bound over to " keep the peace of Parlia- 
ment of 10 Edward III." After this, Brydges appears to have 
retired to Avening and to have died there, and we may hope 
from the pious position in which he is depicted on the monu- 
ment that he repented in his older years of the evil deeds of 
his youth. 

He is believed to have married, perhaps late in life, Alice, 
widow of Walter Compton, of the same family as the Comp- 
tons, of Hartpury, in this County, a branch of which family 
lived for some time in the neighbourhood of Avening. 

In connection with Walter and AUce Compton, a very 
curious action was brought, in the Consistory Court of 
Gloucester, in the year 1551. The details are of such a nature 
that they cannot be given in full, and the following are ex- 
tracts from the official reports. 

Gloucester Consistory Court 1551 Avening 
Walter Compton v. Alice Compton, his wife. Divorce 
Nov. 12. Walter exhibited certain articles. Alice prayed 
restitution of conjugal rights. 


Walter produced as witnesses Anne Halyday, Sybil 
Fyld, and Alice Beene, who were sworn, etc. 

Edith Shrove was excommunicated for contumacy in 
not appearing, and decreed to be cited for Nov. 28th. 

Nov. 28. Walter produced Adam Parkins and Edith 
Shrove. Deposition of witnesses on the part of Walter 

"Anne Halyday aged 42 years of Bisselege (Bisley), 
where she had lived 23 years, had known the parties 
18 years and being examined what displeasure, variaunce, 
strife or dispute was to this deponent's knowledge rysen 
betwixt the said parties, she answerethe that upon a 
Monedaye about eight or nine years agoe, the said AUce 
Compton sent for this deponent to come to her to a certain 
Myll of the said Walter Compton whereunto this de- 
ponent came, and there the said AUce said : "Alas that 
ever I was borne, for I am used as no woman ys, and 
rather than I will lyve this lyfe he shall rydde me or 
I will rydde hym . . ." This deponent counselled 
the same Alice to goe home agayne to her husband and 
to obey hym. The same Ahce is and hath been of honest 
lyving in all thynges saving her tonge which she would 
suffer to go at large. 

As touching the article that said Alice should beyre 
herself bold upon Sir Giles Poole, ^ she knoweth nothynge 
therein but she saith there hathe been communication 
that Sir Gieles should send Alice a bracelet . . . ." 
She cannot say whether Alice left her husband of her own 
mind, or whether he put her away. As regards the 
demeanor of said Alice with (as it is supposed) one William 
Potter she knows nothing." 

The other witnesses gave similar evidence, all speaking of 
Alice's unruly tongue. One Adam Parkins says : — 

" There was often strife betwixt them, the more 
pitie. About Christmas 7 years agoe he was playing at 
tables with said Alice in her hall, and she said if her 
husband wold use himself as he had done she wold washe 
her handes in his hert bloud, affirming the same with 

» Sit Giles Pool lived at Sapperton in the Manor House close to the Church. A descendant sold 
the property to the f athec ot Sir Robert Atkyns the Historian of the County. The House is now 
pulled down. 


othes in the presence of her maydenes . . . He had 
often heard said Alice say she would cause her brother 
to break his Mazer ^ at his Court gates. He had heard 
her say she had lever keep Sir Gieles Poole's hounds 
and hawks than to be Walter Compton's wife, and that 
Walter Compton was a lustie child but Sir Gieles was 
frowHcker and confessed she had a brachlet with gold 
of the said Sir Gieles Poole." 

Finally, on the 31st of December, the following judgment 
was given, in which the judge seems anxious to accommodate 
matters by giving neither party much advantage over the 

" Because Walter proved by witnesses the cruelty 
of AUce the Judge pronounced for Walter as far as by law 
he might, but finally pronounced such cruelty not to be 
of such bitterness that he ought to divorce Walter from 
Alice. In like manner he pronounced the other allegations 
of Walter not to be effectually proved so that the restitu- 
tion prayed by AHce ought not to be. Finally he restored 
Walter to Alice, having first required of Alice sufficient 
security to indemnify Walter if he required it, who then 
prayed for security. The Judge enjoyned Walter to 
provide sufficient alimony and to pay AUce 5s lod in 
cash weekly, until such security be given by Alice." 

I regret to say that the Judge's well-meant efforts to 
accommodate the matrimonial difficulties of Walter and Alice 
were not altogether effectual, as on June 28th of the following 
year, we find Alice bringing another action to force Walter 
to adhere to the terms of the judgment given. 

It may readily be imagined that much of the evidence in 
the above case is not fit for pubhcation, but I have thought 
that these extracts may not be uninteresting as illustrative of 
some manners of the time. 

I Mazer or Mazzard means the head . 




THE following is a list of the Rectors of Avening so far 
as I have been able to trace them. Probably before 
the appearance of the Rectors the services were conducted 
in the newly-erected Churches both in Avening and in Minchin- 
hampton, by priests appointed and maintained by the Abbess 
of Caen. This was at the time a very common practice, and 
the priests so appointed were called " Vicars," though that 
name acquired a totally different signification after the Refor- 
mation : — 

I. William de Montfort was hving in 1291. He is 
described in the Papal Registers as Papal Chaplain, and Dean 
of S. Paul's, London. " He by indult of Alexander IV. 
(Rinaldo) held benefices to the amount of 300 marks, namely, 
the churches of Stratford, Avenynge and Whitchurch, in the 
Diocese of Worcester, Estrude in that of Winchester, Flikes- 
burg in that of Lincoln, Dunet and Aldetheleye in that of 
Coventry and Lichfield, Angerham in that of Durham, and 
Colerne in that of Salisbury, prebends in London, Lichfield 
and Hereford, and a portion in Ledbury of that Diocese. He 
is now allowed to retain the same and to hold others to the 
total value of £300." This was a large sum in those days, 
and William de Montfort was not Papal Chaplain for nothing. 
Whether he kept curates at these places or did any duty him- 
self is not stated. 

2. Peter Doucet. — Appointed October 7th, 1294, by 
Edward I., who held the temporalities of the Abbey of Caen 
for the usual reason. " There is a licence from William 
Ginsborough, Bishop of Worcester, to Peter, Rector of the 
Church of Avening, priest, to study within the Kingdom of 


England, or without, from the present date (March, 1304) 
for 3 years." What became of the spiritualities of the people 
of Avening during these absences ? 

There seems to have been a difficulty about the institu- 
tion of Peter, as there is this entry in the Worcester Registers : — 

"A.D. 1294, Induction of Peter Doucet, Acolyte, 
treasurer of the Lady Mary, daughter of the King and a 
Nun of Ambersbury, by his Proctor, John Bey ton, to 
the Church of Avening. And he was not instituted 
because he was absent and not in Holy Orders." 

This difficulty seems to have been overcome in 1297, 
as there is this order to Godfrey Gifford, Bishop of Worcester. 
" Order to restore to Master Peter Doucet, the Church of 
Avenynge, which the Bishop took into the King's hands by 
virtue of the Kng's order to take into his hands the benefices 
of Alien secular parsons, whether they be Canons or Rectors 
of churches, or otherwise beneficed in the realm, of the power 
of the King of France and his adherents, because Peter is an 
alien, and the King wishes to show him favour for his long and 
good services to Eleanor, late Queen of England, the King's 
mother, and afterwards to Mary his daughter, a Nun of 

3. William de Leobury. — Appointed by Edward II., 
May 17th, 1325. " July 26th, 1325. Protection till Christmas 
for the Bishop of Winchester going beyond the sea on the 
King's service. Protection for the same time for the following 
going with the said Bishop : — William de Leobury, of the 
Church of Avenynge." 

4. William de Wygornia. — Mentioned as late Rector 
in 1340 (Close Rolls.) 

5. Philip Bonvalet. — Was Proctor in England of the 
Abbess of Caen, and was appointed by Edward III. to the 
custody of all lands and goods of the Abbey in England taken 
into the King's hands during wars. Bonvalet was an alien 
by birth, " born of the Power of France," and by a " Pardon " 
dated September ist, 1339, he is allowed to retain the Rectory 
of Avenynge on payment of a Moiety of the Taxation of the 
Church, amounting to 25 Marks per annum. This Rector 
appears to have been perpetually in hot water, as there are 
numerous Orders, Pardons and Directions not to intermeddle. 


On Dec. i6th, 1347, a commission is appointed, consisting of 
Simon Borrett, Walter de Cirencestre, and William de Chelten- 
ham, " To make inquiries touching a petition of Thomas, 
son and heir of John de Harstone, that whereas Philip Bon- 
valet, Proctor in England of the Abbess of Caen, unjustly 
ejected his father from a messuage, and half a virgate of land, 
whereof he was seized, and held the same to the use of the said 
Abbess until they were taken into the King's hands with the 
lands of the ahen religious. The King will cause restitution 
to be made to him of the messuage and land, and to certify 
the King as to the truth of the statements made in the petition, 
and whether the premises are of ancient demesne or held at 
common law, and by what service. The Inquisition is to be 
taken in the presence of the Attorney, Maud, Countess of 
Ulster, to whom the King has committed the custody of the 
money, or Henry Earl of Lancaster, his brother." 

I have no information as to whether restitution was made 
to Thomas de Harstone, but apparently the Abbess was 
satisfied with her Proctor, as there is this entry under date, 
Feb. 20th, 1361. " Georgia, Abbess of the Holy Trinity in 
Normandy, who lately came to England to further some 
business of hers there, and is about to go back, has given letters 
nominating PhiUp Bonvalet and Master Roger Mabon, as 
her Attornies in England for three years." 

6. John Ercheband. — Leaves in exchange in 1373. 

7. Nicholas Morin. — Appointed by Richard II. in 1373. 

8. William de Britby. — Appointed by Henry IV. in 

9. John Timbrell. — Presented in 1413, probably by 
Abbess of Caen. 

10. Nicholas Sturgion. — Presented in the same year. 

11. John Lockhawe. — Presented in 1416, probably by 
Henry V. 

12. John Brockholes. — Presented in 1438, by Henry VI. 

13. Edward Waghorn. — Was Rector in 1498. Sir John 
Whitehead is mentioned as Chaplain, and Richard Ball and 
Thomas Hathway as Churchwardens. 

14. — Thomas Trowell. — Rector in 1540. John Giles is 
mentioned as his parish priest. 


15. Steven Sagar. — Rector in 1542. 

16. Giles Coxe. — Died 1557. 

17. Egedius Coke. — Probably appointed by Lord Windsor 
on the death of Giles Cox. Egedius appears to have held 
the Living for a very short time, as he died the year after his 

The Avening Registers begin 1557 and the first few pages 
are all signed at the bottom William Bushe, Rector, showing 
that they are a copy of some former entries either in a book 
or on loose pages. 

Under " Buringe," 1558, comes the entry " Egedius 
Coke Rector obiit xxx Augustii." This Latin form of the 
Christian name Giles appears in the registers twice in christ- 
enings in 1567 ; in one wedding in 1558, and a christening in 
1564 ; twice in 1563, and once in 1568. 

18 William Inman. — Appointed by Edward Lord Wind- 
sor, instituted 1558. 

19. Giles Sansome. — Appointed by Lord Windsor. In- 
stituted 1577. 

20. William Bushe. — Probably appointed by Lord Wind- 
sor. According to the Avening Register he died Dec. ist, 
1609. Buried at Avening. 

21. William Hall. — Appointed by Henry Pigott and 
John Hall. Instituted in 1609. 

22. Charles Deane. — Appointed by WiUiam Umfreville, 
by assignment of a grant from Lord Windsor. Assessed for 
Ship Money at £1 i6s. 

23. William Hall. — Instituted 1642. Appointed by 
Charles I. " pro hac vice." He was probably a son of the 
above mentioned Rector of the same name. He declared 
against the Act of Uniformity, but afterwards conformed, and 
therefore was not ejected from the living. He died Nov. 9th, 

24. Robert Frampton. — Appointed by Phihp Sheppard. 
Instituted 1684. This is one of the most celebrated of the 
Avening Rectors, though he held the living for a very short 


time. He held also some living in Dorsetshire which, at the 
earnest request of his friend Philip Sheppard, he changed with 
that of Avening, which he held " in commendam," in order 
that he might have some place of retirement within the Diocese 
of Gloucester, to which he had been appointed as Bishop in 
1680 ; but, finding the Rectory House in a ruinous condition, 
he left it in the following year, and took instead the Vicarage of 
Standish, just then vacant, and in the gift of the Bishop of 

Dr. Frampton was one of the seven Bishops who, headed 
by Bancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, refused to obey the 
order of James II. that the " Declaration of Indulgence " 
should be read on two successive Sundays in every Church 
within each Diocese in the Kingdom. The Archbishop and 
six of the Bishops met at Lambeth Palace to draw up a pro- 
test against the Order, which they did in a very temperate 
letter, declining to publish the Declaration, which they con- 
sidered to be illegal, and against which they had consistently 
preached. But it happened that Frampton was half an hour 
late at this meeting, having been detained in his diocese. 
The Archbishop urged them to wait for him, saying : "I 
am sure our brother of Gloucester with his black mare is on 
the gallop." The other bishops, however, decided not to 
wait, and over persuaded the reluctant Archbishop, who had 
a great affection for Frampton, and they accordingly then 
presented their protest to the King. James was furious, and 
committed all the seven Bishops to the Tower. The whole 
population turned out in their honour, and their going into 
captivity was Uke a triumphal progress. Frampton was 
anxious to present his protest alone, but he was dissuaded by 
the Archbishop, who said : " Brother, there will come a time 
when your constancy and courage may do the Church more 
service." Though not in confinement, Frampton spent most 
of his time at the Tower, and on leaving at night, multitudes 
thronged his coach asking for his blessing. Amongst those 
sent to the Tower was Sir Jonathan Trelawny, Bishop of 
Bristol, the hero of the Cornish song with the well-known 
refrain : — 

And have they fixed the where and when, 
And shall Trelawny die ? 

There's twenty thousand Cornish men 
Will know the reason why. 


At length, on the 29th of June, the seven appeared before 
the Court of King's Bench, and, although the Jury had been 
picked and the Judges were creatures of James, the attitude 
of the populace was so threatening that they pronounced a 
verdict of Not Guilty, amidst a roar of applause. 

But a still more serious crisis arose for the Church, and 
Dr. Frampton was one of the seven Bishops who refused to 
take the oath of allegiance to William III., known as the 
" Nonjuring Bishops," his old friend Archbishop Bancroft, 
being also of the number. 

Everyone holding any ecclesiastical or academic pre- 
ferment was ordered to take the oath by the first of August, 

1689. Six months were allowed for reconsideration ; but 
if, on the first of February, 1690, he still refused, sentence of 
deprivation was passed, and Frampton, who stoutly refused 
to take the oath, was deprived of his Bishopric on February ist, 

1690. He continued to be Vicar of Standish, apparently by 
tacit consent, and at any rate he held it till his death, though 
after paying all charges it was only worth £40 a year. He had 
previously rebuilt the Parsonage House, and the late Arch- 
deacon Sheringham, when Vicar of Standish, wrote : "I hold 
myself fortunate in occupying the house which once held the 
brave old Bishop who sacrificed his place to his conscience, and 
died here in peace, and full of years." 

Frampton was a very celebrated preacher, even in early 
life. Pepys speaks of him as " a young man of a mighty ready 
tongue, preaching the most like an apostle that ever I heard 
man ; it was much the best time that I ever spent in my life 
at Church." 

And Evelyn says : " That famous Preacher, Dr. Frampton, 
not only a very pious and holy man, but excellent in the 
Pulpit for the moving affections." 

A Life of Frampton was written soon after his death, 
and this has been edited and published by Rev. T. S. Evans. 
The Editor, in the Preface to the Life, says : " In his honesty, 
his sense of humour, his generosity, his personal bravery, his 
readiness in moments of danger, his eagerness to aid the 
suffering and the oppressed, in his broad charity and by his 
abiding sense of duty to a higher than human law, Robert 
Frampton is an Englishman of the best type." 


Frampton had been a great traveller in Palestine and the 
East, and there is said to be a portrait of him, bronzed by the 
sun, in the Palace at Gloucester. 

Wantner says of him : " The Right Reverend Father in 
God, Doctor Robert Frampton, Lord Bishop of Gloucester 
(who hath been a very great Traviler) did say in my hearing 
that the Tower (of Minchinhampton) did much resemble the 
Pillar erected in memory of Absolon, ye son of ye Kingly 
Prophet David." But there is only a faint resemblance 
between the so-called Tower of Absalom and that of Minchin- 
hampton Church. 

Frampton died in June, 1708, aged 86. He would never 
acknowledge that he had been rightfully deprived of his 
Bishopric, nor would he ever read the prayer for the King's 
Majesty. He is buried in Standish Church, and there is this 
inscription on his Tomb : — 

RoBERTUS Frampton 

Episcopus Glocestrensis 
Caetera quis nescit ? 

Vin. Calend : Junii 
f ^tatis86 

Anno -! Consecrationis 28 

I .^rae Christianae 1708 

Thus, though he only held the emoluments of the Bishopric 
for 10 years, he always considered that he had been Bishop till 
the end of his life — a period of 28 years. 

Frampton married in 1687, Mrs Mary Canning, who lies 
buried in the Lady Chapel of Gloucester Cathedral, and the 
following inscription is on the tomb : — 

" M. S. Fseminae inter optimas numerandae, dominae 
Mariae Frampton, quae vitam sancte actam suavissima in 
Xto morte consummavit, Octr. 11, 1680." 

He also had a daughter, whose devoted affection was a 
great comfort to her father in his adversity. 

25. George Bull, D.D. — Appointed by Philip Sheppard. 
Instituted, 1685. This was also a very celebrated Rector, 
who afterwards became Bishop of St. David's, but I must 


defer a sketch of his hfe for the present in order to finish the 
list of the Rectors. 

26. John Swynfen. — Appointed by Queen Anne, " pro 
hac vice." Instituted, 1705. It is recorded that when 
Dr. Frampton vacated the Living of Avening, he left it at the 
disposal of the proper Patron, Philip Sheppard, but " Doctor 
Bull was not so kind to his Patron, for when raised to the See 
of St. David's, he left the Living to the disposal of the Crown ; " 
and hence the appointment of this Rector by Queen Anne. 
I do not know by what law Dr. Bull was enabled to do this, 
but probably a gift to the Crown took precedence of everything 
else. Swinfen also held the Living of Beverston with that of 
Avening, and, when residing at the former place, he required 
the Avening people to come over to him when they desired 
his services, and for this reason many of the Avening marriages 
are recorded in the Beverston registers. Swinfen died April 
29th, 1728, and is buried at Avening. 

27. Philip Sheppard. — Was instituted 1728, and is said 
in the Gloucester Diocesan Records to have been appointed 
by William Sanford. This is probably a mistake, as the 
Advowson of the Living of Avening undoubtedly belonged to 
Samuel Sheppard the elder, who dealt with it by settlement 
in favour of his younger son, Edward, as stated above, and 
there would not appear to have been any object in seUing the 
next presentation, as it would be natural that it would be 
given by Samuel to his son when vacant. 

28. Robert Salusbury Heaton. — Instituted, 1769. Ap- 
pointed by Thomas Gryffin and Edmund Clutterbuck, the 
Trustees who held the purchase money for the next presenta- 
tion to the Livings of Minchinhampton and Avening as men- 
tioned in Chapter VII. 

29. Thomas Chamberlayne Coxe. — Appointed by 
Edward Sheppard. Instituted, 1774. 

30. Nathaniel Thornbury, LL.B. — Instituted, 1779. 
Appointed by Nathaniel Thornbury, gent., probably his father. 
Fosbroke says of him : " The present Rector, the Rev. Nath. 
Thornbury, is a gentleman well-known for his intimate ac- 
quaintance with most of the nations of Europe, which he 
repeatedly visited, as well as the greatest part of England. 
In Mineralogy, of which he has a most judiciously-selected 


cabinet, he possesses great information, as well as in ancient 
and modern languages, and general knowledge of a liberal 
and elegant kind ; all which he enlivens by ability, vivacity 
and wit." 

31. Thomas Brooke. — Instituted, 1816. The Gloucester 
Diocesan Records say he was appointed by Samuel Sheppard, 
but there was no Samuel Sheppard living at the time. The 
appointment may refer back to the settlement of the Living 
made by Samuel Sheppard, as stated above, but I think the 
Advowson had been parted with before 1816. 

32. Philip Bliss, D.C.L. — Instituted, 1830. Appointed 
by J. F. Brooke and others. The Living had now passed into 
the hands of the Brooke Trustees. 

This was an eminent Gloucestershire man, and deserves a 
short notice. Dr. Bliss was the only son of Rev. Philip Bliss, 
Rector of Dodington and Frampton Cotterell, in this County, 
and was born at Chipping Sodbury, Dec. 21, 1787. He was 
educated first at the Grammar School, Chipping Sodbury, and 
afterwards at the Merchant Taylors' School, where he remained 
till 1806, in which year he became a Scholar of St. John's 
College, Oxford, and in 1815 a Fellow of the same College and 
B.C.L., taking his D.C.L. degree in 1820. He was ordained 
in 1817 to a Curacy in Oxfordshire, and became Rector of 
Avening in 1830 as above. The Dictionary of National 
Biography says : " Parochial Preferment he never held." 
This, however, is a mistake, as he was undoubtedly appointed 
Rector of Avening, and his institution is mentioned in the 
Diocesan Records. In the Avening Registers there is only one 
entry of duty done by him, viz. : the baptism of a child on 
Aug. 8, 1830, probably when he came to take possession of 
the Living. I believe the explanation to be that he acted as 
a " warming-pan " for Thomas Richard Brooke, a minor, the 
heir of a family owning the advowson of Avening and a con- 
siderable estate at Horton, which is close to Chipping Sodbury, 
and, no doubt, he was well-known to Dr. Bliss. In 1836, 
Thomas Richard Brooke came of age and was ordained, and 
Dr. Bliss, making way for him, he became Rector of Avening. 

Dr. Bliss was an eminent Bibliographer, his principal 
work being a new Edition of Anthony a Wood's "Athenae 
Oxonienses," with additions and continuation. The original 
edition of the Athenae Oxonienses, published in 1691-92, is 


said, on the title page, to be "An exact history of all the 
Writers and Bishops who have had their Education at the 
University of Oxford from 1500 to 1690, to which are added 
the Fasti or Annals for the said time." Dr. Bliss very much 
enlarged and corrected this work, his Edition running to 
4 vols. 4to., published between the years 1816-1820. His 
interleaved copy of a Wood's original work is preserved in 
the Bodleian Library. Doctor Bliss eventually died in 1857, 
aged 70. 

33. Thomas Richard Brooke. — Instituted, as stated 
above, in 1836. On attaining his majority, he seems to have 
presented himself to the Living, as, according to the Diocesan 
Records, he was appointed by Thomas Richard Brooke. 
Besides the property already mentioned, he had the accumula- 
tions of a long minority, and was a wealthy man. He built 
the new Rectory — a very fine house, in a beautiful situation, 
but rather too large for the present income of the Living. He 
remained at Avening till about 1854, when he retired and lived 
abroad till 1857, keeping a Curate to do the services and attend 
to the parish until he finally sold the Advowson. The building 
of the New Rectory and general extravagance, I think, in- 
volved him in some difficulties. 

34. Francis de Paravicini. — Instituted, 1857. Ap- 
pointed by Thomas Richard Brooke, of whom he bought the 
Advowson. The Living was twice sequestrated during this 
Rector's incumbency. 

35. Edgar William Edwards. — Instituted, 1897. The 
present Rector. 




DR. George Bull was bom at Wells, March 25th, 1634, 
and was ordained at the early age of 20. He showed 
his skill in dialectics and his readiness as a disputant whilst 
still an undergraduate at Oxford. His first benefice was 
St. George's, Bristol, and he seems at once to have fallen foul 
of the Quakers. As he was preaching one day a Quaker came 
into the Church and called out : " George, come down, thou 
art a false prophet and an hireling ; " whereupon the con- 
gregation fell upon the intruder with such fury that Bull was 
obliged to descend from his pulpit to save him from their 

The Restoration opened the way for Bull's preferment, 
and he was made Rector of St. Mary's, Siddington, and sub- 
sequently also of the adjoining parish of Siddington St. Peter's. 

The following is an extract from Nelson's " Life of 
Dr. Bull " (2nd ed., pp. 80-81) :— 

" The only Dissenters he had in this parish were Quakers 
who resisted all the endeavours he made to bring them into 
the Church, for they were as obstinate as they were ignorant, 
who by their impertinent and extravagant manner caused 
him no small uneasiness. And of this number was one who 
was a preacher among them, who would frequently accost 
Mr Bull ; and once more particularly, said he, ' George, as for 
human learning, I set no value upon it, but if thou wilt talk 
Scripture, have at thee.' Upon which Mr Bull, willing to 
correct his confidence, and to show him how unable he was 


to support his pretentions, answered him, ' Come on then, 
friend.' So opening the Bible which lay before them, he 
fell upon the Book of Proverbs. ' Seest thou, friend,' said he, 
' Solomon saith in one place, "Answer a fool according to his 
foUy," and in another place, "Answer not a fool according to 
his folly." How doest thou reconcile these two texts of 
Scripture ? ' ' Why,' said the preacher, * Solomon don't 
say so.' To which Mr Bull replied, 'Aye, but he doth.' And 
turning to the places, soon convinced him ; upon which 
the Quaker, hereat being much out of countenance, said, 
' Why, then Solomon was a fool,' which ended the controversy." 

There were many passages-of-arms between Mr Bull 
and the Quakers, especially with one very well-known and 
excellent member of the Society of Friends, John Roberts, 
whose life, written by his son, was edited and reprinted by 
the late John Bellows. It is a most entertaining and in- 
teresting little book, and I recommend any one interested in 
Gloucestershire county history and quaint customs to read it. 

John Roberts was a farmer living at Siddington, on a 
little estate of his own, and was, therefore, under the con- 
stant observation of Bull, the Rector of the parish, to whom 
he was extremely obnoxious and who frequently cast him into 
prison at Cirencester for non-payment of tithes. This pro- 
bably occurred many times, as John consistently refused to 
pay. " For conscience sake," he said, " I can't pay a hireling 
priest what he demands of me ; therefore, he, like the false 
prophets of old, prepares war against me, because I cannot 
put into his mouth." On one of these occasions he was freed 
from prison by Lady Dunch, of Down Ampney, who fre- 
quently befriended him and often attended the meetings of 
the Friends, though I do not know whether she became a 

John Roberts had frequent interviews and conversa- 
tion with WiUiam Nicholson, Bishop of Gloucester (1660- 
1671), who seems to have conceived a genuine liking and 
respect for him. At one of the interviews the following 
conversation occurred : — 

John Roberts : " I was bred up under a Common 
Prayer Priest, and a poor drunken old man he was ; some- 
times he was so drunk he could not say his prayers ; though 


I think he was a far better man then he who is priest 
there now." 

Bishop : " Who is your Minister now ? " 

Roberts : " The present priest of the parish is George 

Bishop : " Do you say the drunken old man was better 
than Mr Bull ? I tell you that I account Mr Bull as sound, 
able and orthodox a divine as we have among us." 

Roberts : " I am sorry for that, for if he be one of the 
best of you, I believe the Lord will not suffer you long ; for 
he is a proud, ambitious, ungodly man ; he hath often 
sued me at law and brought his servants to swear against 
me wrongfully. His servants themselves have confessed to 
my servants that I might have their ears (presumably in 
the pillory), for their master made them drunk and then 
told them they were set down in the hst as witnesses 
against me ; and so they did, and brought treble damages. 
They also owned that they took tithes from my servant, 
thrashed them out and sold them for their master. They 
have also several times took my cattle out of my grounds 
to fairs and markets and sold them without giving me any 

Bishop : " I do assure you that I will inform Mr Bull 
of what you say." 

Roberts : " And if thou pleasest to send for me to 
face him I shall make much more appear to his face than I'll 
say behind his back." 

On another occasion the Bishop held a visitation at 
Tetbury, accompanied on the way by some of the leading 
gentry and clergy of the neighbourhood, including Parson Bull, 
and, passing John Roberts's house, they called there, and were 
hospitably entertained, the Bishop especially commending a 
new broached cask of beer. They all drank of it except Bull, 
who refused the cup offered him by Roberts, saying, " It is 
full of hops and heresy." To which Roberts replied, "As 
to hops I cannot say much, not being at the brewing of it, 
but as for heresy, I do assure thee, neighbour Bull, there is 
none in my beer. Here my Lord Bishop hath drunk of it 
and commends it ; he finds no heresy in the cup." 


Bull was made a Prebendary of Gloucester by Lord 
Chancellor Finch, and installed October 9th, 1678, whilst still 
at Siddington. Subsequently, on July loth, 1686, the degree 
of D.D. was conferred on him without the payment of the usual 
fees. The following account of his presentation to the living 
of Avening, and his subsequent ministry there, is taken from 
Nelson : — " It was in the year 1685 when Mr Bull was pre- 
sented to the Rectory of Avening, in Gloucestershire, a large 
parish about 8 miles in compass, the income whereof is about 
£200 a year. The patron of it is Philip Sheppard, of Minching 
Hampton, Esquire, a very worthy gentleman eminent for his 
probity, sobriety and charity, and for his great usefulness in 
his county, for he not only administers justice with great 
impartiality, but endeavours to reconcile all quarrels and dis- 
sensions among his neighbours before they break into a flame, 
and before his neighbours lose their money and tempers in 
legal prosecutions, in which commonly both suffer. 

" It happened that when this Hving became vacant Mr 
Sheppard and Mr Bull, with some other friends, were at 
Astrope-Wells, in Northamptonshire, drinking those mineral 
waters for the advantage of their health, and they were to- 
gether with some other gentlemen when Mr Sheppard received 
the news of it (the vacancy of the living), upon which he 
acquainted the company that he had a very good living to 
dispose of, and reckoned up those quaUfications he expected 
in the person upon whom he would bestow it ; which so 
exactly agreed to Mr Bull's character that every one present 
plainly perceived that Mr Sheppard designed to determine 
that preferment in Mr Bull's favour. But he had too much 
humility to make the application to himself, and therefore 
took not the least notice of it. Some time after Mr Bull 
withdrew with some of the company to walk in the garden, 
which opportunity Mr Sheppard took to declare that he had 
on purpose given those hints that Mr Bull might be encouraged 
to apply to him for it ; but finding his modesty was too great 
to take that step he was resolved to offer it to him who had more 
merit to deserve it than assurance to ask for it ; which ac- 
cordingly he did as soon as Mr Bull returned into the room ; 
which he received with all those acknowledgments which 
were due for so good a living to so generous a patron. 


"One of Dr. Bull's first cares on coming to Avening was the 
rebuilding of the parsonage house, part of which had been 
burnt down before he became Incumbent. This expense, 
the narrative continues, was very hard on a person who was 
never beforehand with the world ; but being necessary for 
the convenience of his family and the benefit of his successors, 
he cheerfully engaged in it." 

" The people of the parish gave Mr Bull for some time 
great uneasiness and trouble ; there were many of them 
very loose and dissolute, and many more disaffected to the 
discipUne and liturgy of the Church of England. This state 
and condition of the parish did not discourage Mr Bull from 
doing his duty, though it occasioned him many difficulties 
in the discharge of it, and he suffered many indignities and 
reproaches with admirable patience and Christian fortitude 
for not complying with those irregular practices which had 
long prevailed among them. But by steadfastness and 
resolution in performing his holy function, according to the 
Rubric, by his patient demeanour and prudent carriage, by 
his readiness to do them all offices of kindness, and particularly 
by his great charity to the poor, who in that place were very 
numerous, he did in the end remove all those prejudices 
which they had entertained against him, and reduced them 
to such a temper as rendered his labours effectual among them. 
In so much that they generally became constant in their 
attendance upon public worship and very decent in their 
behaviour at it, and, what was effected with the greatest diffi- 
culty, they brought their children to be baptised at Church ; 
for when all other arguments failed, the assurance he gave 
them that this was the practice of the Reformed Churches, 
persuaded them to comply without any further scruple. 
Indeed, by degrees the people, perceiving that he had no 
design upon them than their own good, of which they fre- 
quently experienced several instances, their aversion was 
changed into love and kindness ; and though at his first 
coming among them they expressed a great deal of animosity 
and disrespect to his person and family, yet many years before 
he left them they seemed highly sensible of their error and 
gave many signal proofs of their hearty goodwill towards him 
and them ; and when he was promoted from this parish to 
the Bishoprick of S. David no people could testify more 


concern and sorrow than the parishioners did upon this oc- 
casion for the loss of these advantages which they enjoyed 
by his hving among them. And I am credibly informed that 
to this day they never name him without expressions of 
gratitude and respect." 

The above panegyric, extracted from Nelson, is in strange 
contrast to the account of Dr Bull given by John Roberts ; 
perhaps a little must be taken off both sides and allowance 
made for the times in which they lived. 

Dr Bull was a very prolific writer on theological subjects ; 
he was a staunch upholder of the Established Church, and 
frequently had acrimonious controversies with other writers 
who did not agree with him in his ultra Protestantism. He 
often preached on this subject, and very forcible sermons are 
mentioned as having been dehvered at Bath, Gloucester, and 
at a visitation at Minchinhampton. " Dr Bull was installed 
as Archdeacon of Llandaff, June 20th, 1686, bestowed upon 
him by Archbishop Bancroft, whose option it was, and prin- 
cipally in consideration of the great and eminent services he 
has done to the Church of God by his learned and judicious 

He was consecrated Bishop of S. David's April 29th, 1705, 
and died at Brecon, February 17th, 1709, aged 75 years, and 
is buried there. He had eleven children, all of whom except 
two died young and in his hfetime. The only children who 
survived him were a son, who became Vicar of Tortworth 
and Prebendary of Gloucester, and a daughter. The son 
married Rachel, daughter of Edward Stephens, of Cherington, 
and of Mary, daughter of Sir Matthew Hale. Several of 
Dr Bull's children are buried at Avening. 

On his tomb at Brecon is this inscription : — 

Here Heth the Right Reverend 
Father in God Dr George Bull 
Late Bishop of this Diocess 
Who was excellently learned 
Pious and charitable 
And who departed this Life 
February the 17th, 1709, Aged 75 




MINCHINHAMPTON is one of the typical old Cotteswold 
towns left behind by the railways, and no longer, 
as formerly, the centre of the trade of the district, which has 
gradually left the old town and is now established in places 
more convenient and nearer to the aU important railways, 
though a number of excellent old town houses, some of con- 
siderable architectural pretensions and mostly with beautiful 
old gardens attached, still remain to bear witness to its former 
importance. This prosperity was almost entirely due to the 
clothing industry, many of the principal houses within the 
town having been built by wealthy and retired clothiers, 
with whom it was a favourite place of residence. It may 
be proper to observe here that the old term " clothier " meant 
a " maker of cloth," and is so defined in Johnson's Dictionary, 
but it has now been usurped by the vendors of ready-made 
clothes. It is a designation of great antiquity and was well 
understood in old days. Shakespeare, for instance, makes 
Norfolk say in " King Henry VIIL," Act i. Scene 2 : — 

" Upon these taxations 
The Clothiers all, not able to maintain 
The many to them 'longing, have put off 
The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers." 

Shakespeare has often been credited with a prophetic 
insight into future times, and he seems to have foreseen the 
exactions which had much to do with the downfall of the 
old clothiers, and the many new burdens placed by recent 


legislation on the industries of their successors, the cloth 
manufacturers of the present day. 

There were originally three market houses in Minchin- 
hampton, only one of which, built by Philip Sheppard about 
1700, still remains. The site of the other two is doubtful, 
but from certain indications I think that one at least was built 
on the " Island" which is a block of buildings surrounded on 
all sides by streets of the town. Parsons in his MS. history 
mentions only two, but Rudder and Wantner say there were 
three. The latter gives the following account of them : — 

" The beauty of the towne consisteth in the four 
cross streets, which pointeth east, west, north and south, 
which is nobly adorned with three spacious market houses, 
one for white meat, one for corne, and the other for woU 
and yearn, the last of which was built by the Honoured 
and worthy gentleman, Philip Sheppard, Esquire, the 
present Lord of the Manor, which is a most noble pile 
of building, finished anno domini 1700. There is no 
market towne in this County (besides this) that hath 
three market houses belonging to it, whose chief est 
dependence relyeth on their markets and faires, together 
with the clothing manufactorie which is the main sup- 
port of all this part of ye countrie." 

Notwithstanding the above, I beUeve that all three 
market houses were built as storing places for wool, where the 
clothiers from the valleys could meet the farmers from the 
hills, see the wool in bulk, and make their bargains with 
the owners. As less and less English wool was used, and more 
and more was imported from abroad, these market houses 
survived their usefulness, and two of them were accordingly 
pulled down and the materials sold. The market house which 
still stands is the very handsome building erected by Philip 
Sheppard and recently given to the town, on certain con- 
ditions, by Major Ricardo. When first I remember it the 
two floors which then existed were used as a school for boys 
and girls, and only ceased to be so used when the present 
schools were built in 1868. 

There is a tradition that Mrs Siddons acted in the present 
market house. This may be well founded, as she lived and 
acted at Bath, between the years 1778 and 1782, occasionally 
going on tour. She was certainly at Stroud and also at 


Cheltenham, and it is reasonable to suppose that she may 
have come to Minchinhampton at the invitation of one of the 
Sheppards, who were great patrons of the drama. She had 
so great a success at Cheltenham that Garrick sent his deputy 
to see her as " CaUsta " in Rowe's " Fair Penitent," and she 
was immediately engaged to appear at Drury Lane at a salary 
of £5 a week. 

The Lammas, the beautiful residence of the Misses Baynes, 
has been through many vicissitudes, has passed through the 
hands of many owners, and has been called by many names. 
In the reign of Edward L it appears to have been held by 
Peter de la Mere, who also held a lease from Malmesbury 
Abbey of the land on which St, Loe's School now stands, as 
mentioned in Chapter IX. It then went, according to Atkyns 
and Rudder, by the name of Delamere Manor, or Lamers, 
which latter name may have been a corruption and contraction 
of Delamere 's. In the reign of Richard III. it passed to one 
George Nevile, and is called Lamers or Lambards, " near the 
spring of Minchinhampton." Finally under the name of the 
Lammas it passed to the Pinfolds, and from them, under the 
circumstances already narrated, to the Cockins. The late 
Mr C. R. Baynes bought the house and property from Mr 
Cockin's heir in 1876, and it remains in the possession of his 

On the 13th December, 1790, a moiety of the estate 
" expectant on the decease of the survivor of the Miss Pinfolds, 
was offered by auction at the " Fleece Inn," Cirencester, but 
does not appear to have been sold. It is described as "that 
beautiful and delightful spot called the Lammas, consisting 
of a dwelling house, garden, fish ponds, pleasure grounds, etc." 
There was also a considerable amount of land and many 
cottages, but I do not think that the fish ponds can have been 
extensive, though perhaps sufficient to justify an auctioneer's 
advertisement, and probably consisted of the head of water 
at the bottom of the Well Hill which drove a grindstone for 
sharpening the shears used for clipping the face of the cloth 
after raising by the teazle. There is an ancient tithe barn at 
the back of the Lammas house, and on the site of the present 
house or very near it the ancient manor house is supposed to 
have stood. Bigland says : " The ancient manorial house 
inhabited by the Wyndesors is said to have been situate in the 


centre of the town and to have been very spacious, and to 
have had hanging gardens open to the south. The large 
mansion near the Church called the farm was occupied by the 
firmarius, or receiver, of Abbey rents." Philip Sheppard 
made it his residence, and altered and enlarged it considerably. 
The traces of the hanging gardens at the Lammas still exist. 

Amongst other residents in the Parish of Minchinhampton, 
Edmund Clutterbuck, who lived at Hyde Court, was well- 
known and much respected. He was an Attomey-at-Law, 
and, as already mentioned, he acted as agent for two genera- 
tions of Sheppards, eventually marrying Anne, daughter of 
Samuel (3rd), and dying Oct. 5, 1778, aged 71, during the 
time that Edward Sheppard held the family estates. 

I have accidentally come into possession of a portion of 
his widow's accounts, which are most admirably and carefully 
kept, and contain her everyday expenditure from the death 
of her husband to her own death at the end of November, 1791, 
the last entry in her handwriting being written on Nov. 5th 
of that year. 

Some of the entries are very quaint, and perhaps a few 
extracts may be given, as illustrating the expenditure of a 
family in a good position at this date. 

One of the first entries is the amount spent on mourning 
for her husband, comprising both her own clothes and those 
of Molly, the daughter who lived with her, and also a moderate 
amount for the servants. The total expended on this mourning 
was £76 17s gld, but this does not include the funeral expenses, 
which were probably paid by the executors out of the estate. 

Every month occurs the following : — 

" Pd. Mr Pearce for combing my curls o. o. 6." 
And also frequent payments to the same for repairing or making 
" Roles." 

This Pearce was one of a long line of barbers and hair- 
dressers at Minchinhampton, and the writer remembers to 
have been operated on by the last of the family. 

The lady appears to have been fond of snuff, and to have 
consumed about i lb. every two months, which cost her 
3s 6d. Snuff taking was very fashionable with ladies up to 
ithe beginning of the last century, as many of the pretty old 
snulOf boxes bear witness ; cigarettes are now more in favour. 


Mrs Clutterbuck was a most charitable lady, and her 
accounts are full of entries of gratuities to poor people. 
Amongst other subscriptions she gave £i is od to the Gloucester 
Infirmary, subsequently increased to £2 2s od. She also duly 
rewarded those who brought her presents from her brother 
of sucking pigs, hares, partridges, trout, etc., and on one 
occasion she received half a buck from Mr Coxe, of Kemble 
Park, who was related to her. Her daughter Molly received 
an allowance of £5 5s quarterly, and on one occasion £2 2s 
towards the expenses of a journey to Manchester, no doubt a 
great event. A grey mare was also bought for Molly, the 
price of which was {6 i6s 6^. I hope the mare was a better 
one than its cost would seem to indicate. To her scapegrace 
nephew, Phil, she gave frequent " tips " of 5s, probably when- 
ever he came to see her, and no doubt he knew where to get 
5s when he wanted it. 

The total expenditure, including the Household accounts 
which are, unfortunately, lost, ranged from £450 to about 
;^6oo a year. The following is a specimen of the accounts for 
the year 1781 : — 

Total of Petty Cash Ledger £290 911 
For cloths for myself . . 63 10 o| 
For housekeeping from 
Dec. ye 24th, 1780, to 
Dec. ye 31st, 1781 . . 249 17 6| 

£603 17 6 

The taxes, including poor rate, amounted to about £y>, 
which does not seem excessive, except the item of £8 for a 
carriage. The window tax on 27 windows was £2 lys od. 
Another branch of the Clutterbuck family lived at Avening 
Lodge, now the residence of Mrs Calcutt, and held an estate 
there. Accordingly, we find an entry : " Pd. Mr Clutterbuck 
for Sunday School at Avening £1 is od." One of the most 
frequent entries in these accounts is of money paid to Mrs 
Fowler, who seems to have been a celebrated woman in her 
day, judging from the following obituary notice which was 
pubhshed in a Bristol newspaper of Oct. 25, 1794. 

" On Monday, at Minchinhampton, Mrs Mary Fowler, 
one of the people called Quakers, and perhaps the most opulent 


shopkeeper in the county of Gloucester. She was a capital 
woollen and linen draper, hosier, grocer and chandler. She 
supplied the whole neighbourhood with wines and spirits of 
every description, medicines, books and stationery, and was 
a most considerable dealer in oils and hops. In short not a 
single article that the particular manufactures of the neigh- 
bourhood demanded, but might be procured in abundant 
quantities at her extensive warerooms." The writer con- 
cludes with an eulogium on her personal virtues.^ 

Amongst the principal residences in the Parish of Minchin- 
hampton are Gatcomb, already mentioned, the property of 
Major (now Lt.-Col.) Ricardo, and Longfords, the home of 
the writer. The latter has externally no special architectural 
features, though placed in a beautiful situation. The ancient 
home of the family, and before them of the Pinfolds, was in 
a courtyard adjoining the mill, all trace of which, except the 
great kitchen chimney corner, has disappeared. There are 
many other good houses in the neighbourhood, and round the 
sides of Hampton Common, the beauty of the scenery and 
the healthiness of the situation making it a favourite place 
of residence. 

In Avening the principal house is Avening Court, the 
ancient Manor House, but this has been so extensively altered 
that but little of the old building remains. It is now the 
property of Mr Martin Viner Pollock, whose mother in- 
herited it as last in the entail created by her great grand- 
father, WiUiam Playne, senr., her father, Capt. F. C. Playne 
of the Rifle Brigade, having died in 1863. There are other 
good houses in Avening, especially the new Rectory already 
mentioned as having been built by the Rev. T. R. Brooke. 

St. Loe's School 

The name of this school has given rise to much con- 
troversy and many suggestions have been made as to its origin. 
Locally it used to be called " Sinkley," and from this in later 
times was evolved "St. Chloe." Another suggestion is 
" Saintlieu," or Holy Place, on account of its having been held 
by Malmesbury Abbey ; and the Charity Commissioners have 
fixed on St. Loe, it being described in the deed of the original 
foundation as " Saintloe, alias Seinckley." But Mr St. Clair 

1 Glos. N. & Q., Vol. III., p. 634. 


Baddeley, in his recently published and most valuable hand- 
book on " Gloucestershire Place Names," traces the name 
back to Saxon times, where, in a charter of Ethelbald, King 
of the Mercians (A.D. 716, 743) it appears as Sengedleag. 

The School was founded by Nathaniel Cambridge, a Ham- 
burgh merchant, who left a sum of £1,000 by will to be invested 
in land by 11 named trustees, all of whom with one exception 
(William Kingscote, of Kingscote) are described as Clothiers. 
The foundation deed states that the school is for the education 
of boys bom, or to be born, in the parish of Woodchester, or 
that part of the parish of Minchinhampton which is in the 
ty thing of Rodborough. The trustees bought the house and 
small estate, which is still the property of the foundation, the 
purchase being completed on June i, 1699. By Cambridge's 
bequest, the master of the school, after paying all taxes and 
repairs, took the balance as his salary, an arrangement which 
did not tend to the upkeep of the premises in the best possible 
repair. Nevertheless the school has frequently had very good 
masters, and at one time it held a high position in the neigh- 
bourhood as an educational institution. The school house 
is a very interesting old building, with immensely thick walls, 
and a courtyard in the centre. In the great schoolroom there 
was a circular staircase built in the thickness of the wall, 
which gave access to an upper floor, now done away with. 
It stands in a very attractive situation overlooking the Wood- 
chester valley, and is now occupied as a private dwelling house. 
The school has been twice re-organised by the Charity Com- 
missioners, and the income of the foundation is now devoted 
to scholarships and apprenticeships. 

In a garden at Nailsworth, belonging to Miss Tabram, 
and within the ancient Parish of Avening, are the remains of 
a Chapel, probably of 14th century work. It was formerly 
used as a stable and afterwards as an office, but it is now closed 
and well taken care of. The Chapel has consequently been 
much maltreated in former times, but sufficient remains of 
the ancient building to enable its original plan to be easily 
traced. The main walls and the lower part of the east window 
are still there, and also a piscina and an ancient doorway. 
The present east window was brought from some other build- 
ing, and does not belong to the original structure. Close 
to the Chapel is a very old house, supposed to have been the 


Priest's lodging. There was a circular staircase in this house, 
removed about 40 years ago. Rudder mentions this Chapel 
and says there was another at Aston also within the ancient 
Parish of Avening, but its situation cannot now be identified. 

The only record of a Priest at Nailsworth occurs as already 
mentioned in Walker's " Sufferings of the Clergy," where one 
Thomas Worden is said to have come from Chipping Norton 
and to have been an intruder. 




THIS celebrated and beautiful expanse of downland was, 
until quite recent years, but little known and rarely 
visited by strangers. The extent of common land was formerly 
said to have been i,ooo acres, and, considering that in the 
case of enclosures sanctioned by the Common Committee of 
the Court Leet, a double quantity of land to that taken in 
was always thrown out elsewhere, and considering also the 
recent purchase by the Golf Club of the great park at Minchin- 
hampton extending to 30 acres, the present area cannot be 
much, if any, less than it formerly was. By the last named 
addition the Common is brought up close to the town, with 
great advantage to the owners of adjacent building land. 
The Great Park was part of the pleasure grounds of the old 
Sheppard House, the entrance gates of which are still to be 
seen, and it was also the site of the Great Trees mentioned in 
Chap. VII. 

The rights of the Commoners have always been jealously 
safeguarded, and encroachments rigorously suppressed. 
Nothing arouses greater local feeling than any attempt, real 
or supposed, to encroach on the rights of the Commoners, 
and it is owing to this strong feeling that, whilst other Com- 
mons have been enclosed, notably towards the close of the 
i8th century, this noble expanse of pasture has been preserved 
for the benefit of the parishioners of Minchinhampton and 
for the enjoyment of all who visit it. 

There were formerly many presentments to the Court 
Leet at its annual meetings alleging that certain persons had 
encroached or otherwise damaged the Common, and in 1832 
especially the following notice was issued to supposed de- 
linquents : " In consequence of the numerous encroachments 


that have been made upon Minchinhampton Common, a 
meeting of the inhabitants was called, and it was then resolved 
that a Committee should be appointed for the purpose of 
resisting them. From the information received it appears 
that a part of the land in your occupation belongs to Min- 
chinhampton Common, and I am therefore directed by the 
Committee to inform you that they will sit at the vestry room 
on April 17th, between the hours of 10 and 3, and, unless 
they hear further from you, they intend to claim it, and will 
take measures to restore it to the Common." This notice is 
signed by Penning Parke, but I am unable to say what effect 
it had. Many regulations have from time to time been made, 
and, finally, by a deed dated April 7th, 1913, Major Ricardo, 
Lord of the Manor of Minchinhampton, has relinquished all 
his Manorial rights over the Common, and transferred them 
to the " National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or 
Natural Beauty." This transfer has so recently come into 
effect that it is too early to say whether or not it is to the 
advantage of the town and neighbourhood. Perhaps it will 
make but little difference, if the new owners are reasonable, 
and the only present effect of the transfer has been that the 
quarrying of stone has been stopped, no doubt to the ad- 
vantage of the pasture, but throwing many out of employ- 
ment, and the far-famed and beautiful building stone will 
no longer be available. 

In the centre of the Common stands an ancient enclosure 
called the " Old Lodge," consisting of an inn, stables and 
garden, and a large and ancient bowling green. There is a 
tradition that Charles I. stopped and dined at the " Old Lodge," 
and that he or some of his suite played a game of bowls on 
the green. If there is any truth in this tradition, the incident 
must have occurred in the flying visit which Charles made 
to Oxford from Matson House, during the siege of Gloucester, 
as that is the only time he could have passed over Minchin- 
hampton Common. The first mention I have been able to 
find of the " Old Lodge " is in a deed of conveyance from Lord 
Windsor to Samuel Sheppard and his son Philip, dated May 
28th, 1656. The deed recites that, 

" Thomas Windesor, Lord Windesor, for, and in 
consideration of the sum of Two Thousand Five Hundred 
and Thirty Pounds of lawful money of England, to the 


said Thomas Windesor Lord Windesor in hand, at and 
before ensealeing and delivery of these presents by the said 

Samuel Sheppard, truly paid by these presents 

hath granted, bargayned, sold, ahened, released and 
confirmed, and by these presents att and by the nomyna- 
tion and appointment of the said Samuel Sheppard, doth 
fully and absolutely grante, bargayne, sell, alien, release, 
and confirm unto the said Philip Sheppard in his actual 

possession all that great Wood or Woodground, 

lying and being in Avening in the county of Gloucester, 
commonly knowne or called by the name of Hazelwood 

conteyneing by estimation three hundred acres 

and all those several Wood Coppices and Wood Grounds, 
commonly called Gattcombe, Amberley Green, Amberley 

Coppice, and the Lodge thereon built all lying and 

being within the townes, parishes, feilds and Terretories of 
Minchinhampton and Avening aforesaid." 

The deed from which these extracts are taken is of con- 
siderable length and is signed by Thomas Windesor, and has 
a fine seal with the Windsor Arms. By this signature it 
seems that the barony was not called out during the Common- 
wealth. The deed is witnessed by " Will Sheppard, Robert 
Abbot and Richard Lloyd," and below is the note : "Acknowle- 
dged 30th May, 1656, before me — Will Sheppard." 

By the above we may conclude that, though purchased by 
Samuel, it passed at once into the possession of his son and 
heir, Philip, possibly to avoid some taxations. 

This also seems to confirm the tradition that a con- 
siderable amount of enclosed land once adjoined the Old 
Lodge, and that a rabbit warren also existed there. But all 
traces of enclosures have now disappeared and, if they did 
exist, I have no information as to when and under what cir- 
cumstances they became Common land. 

On many parts of Minchinhampton Common, and ex- 
tending close into the town, and even beyond, are the well- 
known earthworks. Opinions differ greatly as to the period 
to which they belong and for what purpose they were con- 
structed. They vary considerably in depth and width, and 
there seems to be no method in their plan. Some of the 
trenches are shallow, and, unless fenced with palisades, would 
afford no protection from enemies. They may have been 


constructed by the pit dwellers for the protection of themselves 
and their animals, if they possessed any, but the larger ones 
were probably constructed at a much later period and were 
perhaps successively used by Romans, Saxons and Danes. 
Minchinhampton Common, with its steep escarpments, would 
be easily defensible, and would probably not be neglected in 
warlike times, but whatever their history, the earthworks are 
remarkable and interesting features in the landscape. The 
Common has always been a favourite place for sports of 
various kinds. Formerly a cricket ground was kept mown 
and rolled near the Old Lodge, and football is frequently played 
there. There used to be race meetings also, the last of which 
I have a record taking place in 1827. Bull baiting, I regret 
to say, was a frequent occurrence the last occasion being in 
1817, when a bull was baited at the Cross in the town. But 
the principal event in more recent times, and one which has 
brought the Common into greater prominence, was the estab- 
lishment of the Golf Club in 1889. Since then houses have 
sprung up and numerous lodgings have been furnished for 
letting. The healthiness of the locality and the beauty of the 
scenery make it a favourite resort in summer holidays. Many 
people with business in Gloucester and elsewhere in the Vale 
live here and find it a delightful change to pure hill air. Golf 
was perhaps not very popular with some of the Commoners 
at first, but it is now recognized that it does no damage and 
that its establishment has brought great prosperity to the 

There is on Minchinhampton Common an old British 
tumulus, which has been so maltreated that it is difficult to 
trace its original shape, but it has in recent times a remark- 
able history, for here the celebrated divine George Whitefield 
preached to enormous congregations, and from this circum- 
stance it has been known as " Whitefield's Tump," and we must 
now give an account of some important events which hap- 
pened in connection with Whitefiield's congregation at Min- 

George Whitefield 

The celebrated preacher and divine George Whitefield 
was a frequent vistor to Minchinhampton, often preaching 
there and in the neighbourhood, and the following facts 



taken from his diaries and letters will be of interest to Min- 
chinhampton parishioners. 

George Whitefield was born at Gloucester, December i6th, 
1714, the last year of the reign of Queen Anne. He was the 
youngest son of his father, who kept the Bell Inn at Gloucester, 
and who died when George was only two years old. He was 
educated at the College, and Crypt Grammar Schools, 
and between the years of 12 and 15 he made great progress 
in the Latin classics, early displaying that eloquence which 
so distinguished him in after life. At the age of 18 he went 
to Oxford, where he was " exposed to the society of the wicked." 
Fortunately he came under the influence of Charles Wesley, 
and he joined a society of Methodists. Having taken his 
degree, he was ordained by Bishop Benson, of Gloucester, and 
after staying some time in England, often preaching to 
enormous concourses of people, he paid his first visit to 
America in 1737, returning in the following year. In all he 
paid three visits to America, and ultimately died at Newbury 
Port, U.S.A., aged 56. In March, 1743, he writes in his 
diary : " Then I rode to Stroud and preached to about 12,000 
people in Mrs. G.'s field, and about 6 in the evening to a like 
number on Hampton Common." No doubt he spoke from 
" Whitefield's Tump." The diary proceeds : "After this, 
went to Hampton and held a general love feast and went to 
bed about mid-night very cheerful and happy." In a letter 
written March 12, 1744, he says : " Wiltshire has been very 
remarkable for mobbing and abusing the Methodists, and for 
about 10 months past it has also prevailed very much in 
Gloucestershire, especially at Hampton, where Mr Adams 
has a house and has been much blessed to many people. 
About the beginning of July last they assembled in great 
numbers with a low bell and horn, broke the windows and 
mobbed the people to such a degree that many expected to be 
murdered and hid themselves in holes and corners. Once 
when I was there they continued from four till mid-night 
rioting, giving loud huzzas, casting dirt upon the hearers and 
declaring that none should preach there on pain of being put 
into a skin pit and afterwards into a brook. On the loth 
July they came to the number of near 300, forced into 
Mr Adams' house and demanded him down the stairs whereon 
he was preaching, took him out of the house, threw him into 

» Notes and Queries, Ser. H, vii., 384-5. 


a skin pit full of noisome things and stagnated water. One 
of our friends named Williams asked them " if they were not 
ashamed to use an innocent man so ? " They threw him 
into the same pit and dragged him along the kennel. Mr 
Adams quietly returned and betook himself to prayer, ex- 
horting the people to rejoice in suffering for the sake of the 
Gospel. In about half an hour they returned and led him 
away to a place called Bourne Brook and threw him in. A 
bystander rescued him but they threw him in again. After 
this there was no more preaching for some time, the people 
fearing to assemble on account of the violence of the mob." 
Thereupon an information was laid in the King's Bench against 
five of the rioters, and the trial was held at Gloucester Assizes. 
Of course, the other side gave a different account of the oc- 
currences, but the verdict was in favour of the Methodists. 
I do not find that any penalty was inflicted, and Whitefield 
says that they were only anxious to let them see what they could 
do, and then forgive them. No doubt the Methodists were 
maltreated in this case, as in others, but it must be remembered 
that we have the evidence of one side only and the accusations 
were stoutly denied by the defendants. Mr Adams, who at 
that time was at Minchinhampton, lived afterwards at Rod- 
borough, where he built and endowed the Tabernacle, " for 
the sole use and benefit of a certain society of people who pro- 
fess to be of the Calvinistic principles pursued and upheld by 
the late Rev. George Whitefield." 

However much we may regret these persecutions of the 
Methodists, we must remember that the Clergy of the Es- 
tablished Church also suffered greatly during the Civil War 
and Commonwealth, and none more grievously than the 
Rev. Henry Fowler, the Rector of the same Parish in which 
the above events occurred. We may be thankful that we live 
in better and more enhghtened times, and that persecutions 
in the name of Religion have long ceased to exist. 




The Clothing Trade. 

IN writing the history of the trades of the district, nothing 
is more remarkable than the number of those engaged 
in the making of woollen cloth, or in the various processes 
through which a piece of cloth passes from the time the wool 
leaves the sheep's back until the finished article is completed. 
The Monuments in the churches and churchyards bear witness 
to the number of those connected with the trade ; and, besides 
the Masters, there was a multitude of humbler workers, such 
as the weavers, spinners and others, so that it appears as 
though the whole population, except the Landowners and 
those engaged in the actual cultivation of the soil, were de- 
pendent on the clothing industry for their livelihood. And 
even to the farmers the trade was of great advantage, as the 
yearly clip of wool materially added to the value of their 

I propose to trace the changes which have occurred, from 
early times, in the fabric itself, in the wool from which it is 
made, and in the methods by which it was manufactured. 

* " Wool is a modified form of hair distinguished by its 
soft and wavy or curly structure, and, as seen under the 
microscope, by its highly imbricated or serrated surface." 
It is important to remember this distinguishing feature of 
wool, as compared with hair, in order to understand sub- 
sequent processes of manufacture. 

The arts of spinning and weaving are of great antiquity. 
They were known to the Egyptians in very ancient times, 

> Encydop. Britt. Article Wool. 


and Pliny mentions the various kinds of wool and the fabrics 
made in his day ; and among the arts which Britain owes 
to the Romans, not the least important is the spinning and 
weaving of wool. The sheep, however, was a domestic animal 
in Britain long before the Roman occupation, and it is probable 
that some use was made by our earlier ancestors of sheep 
skins and wool ; and the matting of the wool on the sheep's 
back may even have suggested the felting process. But the 
Romans, early in their occupation, established wool factories, 
notably at Winchester, whence their legions were supplied 
with clothing. The Britons were not slow to see the value 
of the manufacture, and, as mentioned by Tacitus, soon 
began to use the new material, and before long to make it for 

There are many allusions to the woollen manufacture in 
Britain in ancient times, but the native industry could not 
rival the products of the Continent, though the wool spun 
from the English fleece was highly prized abroad, and is said 
to have been " spun so fine that it is in a manner comparable 
to a spider's thread." 

The wool grown on our Cotteswold Hills was held in high 
reputation in ancient times, and we read that " the inhabitants 
are so wise, and they make such improvements of their wool, 
that their sheep may be said to bear golden fleeces to them." 
Towards the end of the fourteenth century and the begin- 
ning of the fifteenth, the woolstaplers of the Cotteswolds rose 
to great wealth and prosperity, and many of our noblest 
churches, especially at Chipping Campden and Fairford, bear 
witness to their munificence. William Grevel, described on 
his tombstone as " Flos Mercatorum lanarum totius Anglice," 
was a most generous benefactor to Chipping Campden Church 
and Town. John Tame, also a wealthy woolstapler, re-built 
Fairford Church to receive the world-famous glass with which 
he adorned it ; and there are many more instances, as at 
Northleach, Cirencester, and other places, of generous bene- 
factions by these princely merchants. 

Some attempts were made for the improvement of manu- 
factures by William the Conqueror, who imported and pro- 
tected Flemish weavers, and Henry H. also established a 
Cloth Fair in the churchyard of St. Bartholomew the Great. 
It was not, however, till the reign of Edward HI. that special 


efforts were made to encourage woollen industries. Fuller, 
in his Church History, says : — 

" King Edward III., seeing the great gains of the 
Netherlanders, resolved to introduce the clothing art to 
our countrymen," of whom he disrespectfully adds : 
" They knew no more what to do with their wool than the 
sheep that wears it, as to any artificial or curious drapery, 
their best cloth then being no better than friezes, such 
their coarseness for want of skill in the making." 

Edward imported weavers, dyers and fullers from 
Flanders, and he himself, further to encourage the native 
trade, wore British cloth, as an example to his subjects, let 
us hope of better quality than that described by Fuller. 
He also prohibited, on pain of life or limb (having the right 
hand struck off), the exportation of British wool, which had 
a great reputation on the Continent, exceeded only by that of 
Spain. A wiser pohcy prevailed in the reign of Elizabeth, 
when the free exportation of wool was allowed, to the great 
advantage of the English sheep owners, and with the result 
that, during this reign, the manufacture of cloth made more 
rapid progress than at any previous time. No doubt it was 
also greatly stimulated by the many refugees, who fled to 
England to avoid the Spanish persecutions in the Netherlands, 
bringing their arts with them. This short-sighted policy 
of prohibiting the export of wool was again enacted on the 
Restoration in 1660, giving rise to a great deal of wool running 
and smuggling, and the prohibition was not finally removed 
till 1825. 

In order to induce the clothworkers of the Netherlands 
to settle in England, emissaries were sent over, who, in the 
language of Fuller, represented to the journeymen their 
hard condition, 

" used rather like heathen than Christians, yea, rather 
like horses than men ; early up and late in bed, and all 
day hard work and harder fare (a few herrings and mouldy 
cheese). But oh ! how happy should they be if they 
would only come over into England, bringing their mystery 
with them. Here they should feed on fat beef and 
mutton, till nothing but their fulness should stint their 


As an additional inducement, the prospect of marrying 
English wives was held out to them, " and such the 
English beauties that the most curious foreigners cannot 
but commend them." These arguments prevailed with 
many, as, " persuaded with the promises, many Dutch 
servants leave their masters and make over to England," 
and fortunately the promises seem to have proved true, 
as we read : " Happy the yeoman's house into which 
one of these Dutchmen did enter, bringing industry and 
wealth along with them ; such as came in strangers 
within doors soon went out bridegrooms and returned 
sons-in-law, having married the daughters of their land- 
lords who first entertained them ; and those yeomen 
in whose houses they harboured soon became gentlemen 
and gained great estates to themselves." 

The above is confirmed by the history of the family to 
which the present writer belongs. Originally refugees or 
immigrants from the Netherlands, they settled in Kent about 
the middle of the sixteenth century, and appear in the next 
generation to have been allied to some of the leading gentry 
of the County. The name was variously spelt as " de la 
Plaigne and de la Plane ; " the prefix seems to have dis- 
appeared in the second generation, as we find it as " Plane, 
Plaine, and Playne." Wyatt Plaine, who held lands in 
East Peckham and Hadlow, as is proved by a Deed in my 
possession, dated 1590, died at East Peckham in 1598, and is 
buried there. (In connection with Wyatt Plaine it is a curious 
coincidence that the writer is a direct descendant, through 
the Twisdens, of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the poet and courtier 
of Henry VHL, whose son was beheaded in 1554 for attacking 
and nearly capturing the Tower of London at the head of 
" The Men of Kent." AUington Castle, the residence of the 
Wyatts, now in ruins, is not far distant from East Peckham, 
and no doubt there was a connection between the families.) 

In the next and subsequent generation the name became 
Playne, and Thomas Playne, son of Wyatt, appears to have 
married one of the Idens, as his son and grandson were both 
named Iden Playne, the Idens being a well-known and ancient 
Kentish family. About the year 1650 the Playnes disappear 
in Kent and re-appear again in Gloucestershire and Hereford- 
shire, and probably this was the time when they established 


themselves in this Valley ; but there was a further immigra- 
tion in 1622, this entry appearing in the Dover Register : 
" Came from France by reason of the late troubles, Jean de la 
Plaigne, linen weaver," Besides the persecutions, he was 
probably attracted by the prosperity of his namesakes and 
relatives. Great Chart, in Kent, where some of the family 
appear in the Registers, was almost the centre of the industry 
in the Weald of Kent, and Hasted, in his History of Kent, 
says of the clothiers there : " They are a body so numerous 
and united that at County Elections whoever has their votes 
and interest is almost certain of being elected." 

In the reign of Edward I. the office of "Aulnager " 
was instituted ; the name is derived from the French 
" aulne," an ell. The duties of this official were to 
" measure the cloth and mark the same, by which a man 
may know how much the cloth containeth. His fee 
of the seller shall be for every cloth a halfpenny, for every 
half-cloth a farthing, nothing for less than half a cloth, 
nor for anything but for cloths exposed for sale." The 
duty of the Aulnager does not seem always to have been 
carried out with much care, as in the reign of Richard H. 
it was enacted " Forasmuch as divers plain cloths wrought 
in the counties of Somerset, Dorset, Bristol and Gloucester 
be tacked and folded together and set to sale, of which 
cloths a great part be broken, ' broused,' and not agreeing 
in colour nor in no manner to the part of the same cloth 
shown outwards, but falsely wrought with divers wools, 
to the great deceit, loss and damage to the people, inso- 
much that the Merchants that buy the same and carry 
them out of the realm to sell to strangers, be many 
times in danger to be slain, and sometimes imprisoned 
and put to fine and ransom, therefore it is ordained that 
no plain cloth tacked and folded shall be set to sale within 
the said counties." 

The above Act does not say much for the honesty of 
some of our clothier forefathers, and there is another in 
the reign of Henry VI. which is equally discreditable to 
the weavers : " Because the weavers in this realm be 
accustomed when they have wrought a cloth near to the 
end, to cut away for their private profit the thread that 
is unwoven and call the same ' thrums ' which they do 


sell to such persons as carry them into Flanders and under 
colour of such ' thrums ' divers persons do carry great 
quantities of woollen yarn, to the hindrance of the King's 
customs, all such export is forbidden." 

During the disorders and persecutions of the Civil War, 
and, in fact, during the whole of the long drawn-out conflict 
between the King and the Parliament, the cloth trade declined 
apace. Many clothiers were ruined, and many more left the 
country to avoid the persecutions and exactions to which they 
were subjected. So deplorable was the state to which the 
woollen trade had sunk, that in the reign of Charles 11. a 
strange law was passed for its benefit. It was enacted that all 
corpses must be buried in woollen shrouds or in grave clothes 
of the same material, without admixture of any other, and it 
was gravely set out that this would also benefit the paper- 
makers by freeing a great quantity of linen hitherto used in 
burial, linen being the material from which the best paper 
was then made. The penalty for burying a corpse in any 
material not entirely made of sheep's wool, " in any shift, 
sheet or shroud made or mingled with flax, hemp, silk, hair, 
gold or silver " was £5, and the clergyman officiating at the 
burial was also required to demand a certificate, " duly sworn 
and sealed before a Justice of the Peace," declaring that the 
body was so buried, and he was then also required to make 
entry in the Register that all these formalities had been com- 
plied with. This vexatious interference with people in their 
saddest moments was greatly resented, and many preferred 
to pay the fine rather than comply with the law. Some 
openly disregarded it, and Mr Blunt, in his " Dursley and its 
Neighbourhood," quotes the following caustic lines by Pope 
(Moral Essays, Ep. I. iii.) on the burial in 1731 of the cele- 
brated actress, Ann Oldfield, " in a Brussels lace head dress, 
a Holland shift with tucks, and double ruffles of the same, 
and a pair of new kid gloves." 

" Odious ! in WoUen ! 'twould a Saint provoke," 
Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke, 

" No, let a charming chintz and Brussels lace 
Wrap my cold limbs and shade my lifeless face. 
One would not sure be frightful when one's dead, 
And — Betty — ^give this cheek a little red." 


This Act was not repealed till 1814, and, though no longer 
compulsory, the custom still lingers, especially in the North 
of England. 

The manufacturers of the eighteenth century were in a 
very small way of business compared with modern times, and 
some had not even a mill in which to make their cloth. They 
would buy a few bales of wool, say at Minchinhampton, or 
some other wool market, and all subsequent processes were 
carried out by the spinners and weavers in the cottages, or on 
commission at one of the mills. In Bigland is a woodcut 
showing a man riding past Avening Church, on one horse laden 
with wool, and driving another similarly laden in front of him. 


So far, the woollen trade in Gloucestershire has been little 
interfered with by strikes, even when the business was more 
profitable than it is at present, and when all the Mills, now 
devoted to other trades, were working full swing at the fine 
West of England broadcloth and similar fabrics. The greatest 
strike which has occurred in this neighbourhood was the great 
strike of the hand loom weavers in 1825, for an increase of 
wages and for equalising prices for the work. It lasted for 
three months, and about 5,000 weavers and many thousands 
of workers in subsidiary trades were thrown out of employ- 
ment. It was enforced by the leaders of the movement on 
their fellows by strong parties visiting the weavers in their 
homes and demanding the surrender of their shuttles, thus 
rendering them perforce idle. Towards the end of the time 
a very rancorous spirit prevailed towards those who showed 
signs of weakening, and in many cases they proceeded to 
violence (peaceful picketing !) The usual procedure was to 
take the beam out of the offender's loom, and mounting the 
poor weaver astride of it, to take him to the nearest canal 
or pond and tumble him into it. So many suffered in this 
way at Chalford, and so much violence prevailed, that the 
Magistrates were at length compelled to read the Riot Act 
and send for a troop of Horse to keep order, who carried out 
their duty very effectually. An amusing story is told of one 
of these Troopers. They were engaged in breaking up groups 
of rioters in Stroud, some of whom climbed into a wagon 
standing near, and from that safety, as they imagined, ven- 
tured to jeer and boo at the soldiers. The latter were not 


inclined to be made fools of in this way, and one of the number 
jumped his horse into the wagon and scattered the occupants, 
who fled from the wagon a great deal quicker than they had 
climbed into it. 

The strike soon after came to an end, having occasioned 
great loss both to employers and employed and great distress 
among many innocent victims, who would gladly have con- 
tinued to work had they been allowed. With the exception 
of this strike, there have been very few disputes in the woollen 
trade in this district between masters and workmen, and long 
may the good feeling which now exists continue with us, as 
disputes and strikes are beneficial neither to the one nor to the 

The strike of the weavers was followed by a severe mone- 
tary crisis, which compelled more than half the bankers in 
the County to put up their shutters, and caused widespread 
distress. It was during this panic that William Playne, 
Senior, saved the Tetbury Bank under very similar circum- 
stances to those detailed by Mrs Craik in " John Halifax, 
Gentleman." Mr Playne was at the time in London, and, 
anticipating that his Bankers at Tetbury would be hard pressed, 
he collected every sovereign he could by any means scrape 
together, took a chaise and four horses and galloped to 
Tetbury, where he arrived to find the Bank surrounded by 
a large crowd clamouring for their money and the cash drawer 
nearly empty. Very likely the amount which Mr Playne had 
been able to collect on so short a notice was not large, but 
seeing his well-known stalwart figure, followed by a servant 
carrying bags of gold, the depositors raised a hearty cheer, 
the run was stopped and the Bank was saved. 

But, nevertheless, the acute monetary crisis brought 
great commercial depression in its train, with the inevitable 
consequence of a general reduction of wages. A different 
system also came into vogue which threw many of the old 
weavers out of employment. Up to this time cloth was not 
woven at the mills but by the master weavers, who employed 
journeymen to work for them, no doubt at very low wages, or 
else it was woven in the cottages by men working on their 
own account ; and it was a common sight to see outside the 
mills a number of horses or donkeys tethered at the entrance. 


either bringing back woven cloth or taking home chains and 
bobbins to weave others. This system had always been 
troublesome, and the ill-advised Beerhouse Act of 1830 had 
very much increased drunkenness amongst the weavers, never 
a very sober class, with the inevitable consequence of bad work. 
The larger manufacturers, therefore, now began to build loom 
sheds, in which all the hand-loom weavers required could be 
accommodated on the premises, and the work done under the 
immediate supervision of the employer. This again threw 
many of the less competent workmen out of employment, and 
the disaster was completed by the general adoption of the 
Power Loom in 1836. A few of the hand-loom weavers con- 
tinued to work in the cottages, and I remember to have heard 
the shuttles going at the Box and elsewhere, but the race 
gradually died out or left the country, and though piteous 
appeals for work were frequently made at the mills, it was 
impossible for the manufacturers, under the stress of com- 
petition, to go back to the old and more expensive system. 
It was possible to employ a few hand-loom weavers on the 
more delicate material, but as the Power Loom became more 
perfect this also ceased. 

So great was the distress and consequent discontent in 
1838, that a Royal Commission was appointed to enquire into 
the state of things prevailing in the Clothing Trades. The 
Commissioner for this district was Mr W. A. Miles, who made 
a most exhaustive enquiry into the general condition of things, 
taking the evidence of all the leading manufacturers and also 
of some of the workpeople. The enquiry embraced many 
subjects, such as the condition of the weavers and their wages, 
the beer shops, the infamous Truck System, and there are 
many interesting chapters on Education, Benefit Clubs, Allot- 
ments, Emigration, etc. This Blue Book is a most valuable 
and interesting record and reflects great credit on the writer. 
I wish it were possible to give an analysis of Mr Miles's Report, 
but the subject is too large to include in this sketch. 

Sir WiUiam Marling, in his interesting paper on the 
Woollen Trade, read at the opening of the winter session of 
the Stroud Textile School, in 1908, says : — 

" On the whole, Mr Miles's recital is a sad one, and in 
striking contrast to the happier conditions prevailing in the 
Stroud valley to-day. Various remedies were devised to 



cope with this distress ; amongst others, the cultivation of 
allotment gardens and the encouragement of migration to 
other districts where labour was more in demand, while not a 
few benevolent residents in the district exerted themselves in 
assisting emigration. Some parishes, such as Uley and 
Bisley, borrowed money for this purpose, and Mr Miles gives 
a statement of the cost of emigrating 68 persons from Bisley 
Parish, who sailed on Aug. 31, 1837, from Bristol. The total 
cost of these 68 persons was ;^i9i 3s id, the whole of which 
sum was defrayed by public subscription or by borrowing on 
the security of the rates." 

All the evidence produced before Mr Miles went to show 
that strikes only made the situation of the hand-loom weavers 
worse, while at the same time many Manufacturers were ruined, 
thereby increasing the unemployment, and tending to the 
lowering of wages, the supply of hand-loom weavers being 
far in excess of the demand. 

Mr Miles gives a table of wages in 1839, which were 
much lower than at the present day, yet far in excess of those 
earned by the hand-loom weavers : — 

Masons earned 15s to 17s a week. Blacksmiths, Car- 
penters and Plasterers 15s, and Labourers gs, with cottage and 
garden and extra at Harvest. 

In the Cloth trade the following were the weekly wages 
paid : — 

Wool Sorters . . . . . . . . 30s. 

Wool Scourers . . . . . . . . 14s 

Wool Pickers (Women) . . . . . . 6s 

Wool Feeders (Children) . . . . 3s 

Mule Spinners (men) . . . . . . 20s 

Warpers (Women) . . . . . . 7s 

Millmen 20s 

Burlers (Women) 6s 

Shearmen . . . . . . . . 13s 

Brushers 14s 

Drawers and Markers (Women) . . gs 

Spinners (Women) . . . . . . 6s 

The week always meant 60 working hours, and sometimes 


Sir William Marling gives a picture of one of these hand- 
loom weavers, which I can confirm from my own recollection 
of many a one I have seen in bygone days. 

"A middle-aged or elderly man, rather sad faced 
(at least, looking as though he had never been young), 
and often quaintly dressed — sometimes in a blue frock- 
coat with copper buttons, once gilt, or in a swallow-tailed 
one, once black, but now grown green with age (pre- 
sumably some gentleman's left-off garment)." 

Sir William might have added his battered old beaver 
top hat, which the poor weaver almost universally wore when 
coming to the mills in his best clothes, a truly pathetic figure, 
and I can to this day remember the keen disappointment 
on his face when told that there was no yam for him to take 
home with him. 

In the next chapter I propose to give an account of the 
gradual evolution of the methods of cloth making, from the 
time when nearly all the processes through which the cloth 
passed were carried out by manual labour, without motive 
power of any kind, up to the present time when machinery 
has taken the place of hand labour, and has reached such a 
pitch of perfection that no further great improvement can 
be looked forward to, though, no doubt, there are some minor 
inventions and economies still to come. 

This gradual development wiU best be illustrated by 
tracing the history of one firm through aU these stages, and 
for this purpose I cannot do better than give an account of a 
portion of the story of the firm to which I belong, and trace 
the changes and vicissitudes through which it has passed 
from the later years of the i8th century to the present time. 




The Clothing Trade {continued) 

I HAVE but few records of the firm of William Playne & Co. 
previous to the year 1788, many valuable old books 
and papers having been destroyed in a disastrous fire which 
occurred in 1836, by which the offices and the greater part of 
the old dwelling-house at Longfords were burnt out. 

Longfords Mills, together with a small estate, were bought 
by Thomas Playne, great-grandfather of the writer, in 1759. 
The business had been carried on for many generations at 
Frogmarsh, in the parish of Woodchester, where part of the 
very Flemish-looking mill-buildings are still to be seen. The 
dwelling-house of the family was situated not far off, at Somer- 
wells, two gables of the old house being still visible, incor- 
porated with what is now the Franciscan Convent, built with- 
in recent years. Thomas Playne sold all he possessed in the 
parish of Woodchester on purchasing Longfords, and died in 
1788, leaving a large family, of whom William Playne was the 
eldest but one. He was a boy of only 16 at the time of his 
father's death, and had recently left St. Loe's school, where 
he was educated. The affairs of Thomas Playne were in 
rather a state of confusion at the time of his death, but for- 
tunately he left behind him a very capable son, and a widow, 
whose portrait by Rippingille is that of a very able and ener- 
getic woman, as she proved herself to be in the bringing up 
of her large family of eleven children. The firm was re- 
constituted under the name of " Martha Playne & Son," 
and before many years had passed all liabilities had been 
discharged and the business placed on a solid foundation. 
In the year 1797 Martha Playne retired, and the firm became 
Wilham Playne & Co. In 1801 another change occurred 

^i/LayrtliyCL ^Jyicuirhc 


owing to Peter Playne, the third son of Martha Playne, coming 
into the firm, which, until 1828, became William & Peter 

I do not know what amount of English wool was used at 
Longfords before the year 1790, but from that time onwards 
the cloth was made of Spanish wool, and it is probable that 
for many years English wool had only been used in small 
quantities for the lists (selvage) and for forels and tags or head 
and tail ends of the finer cloth. The average price of Spanish 
wool in 1790 would be about 3s to 3s 6d per lb. — not a high 
price for the grower when carriage is deducted. Fine wool 
was grown in Spain in very early times, and there is a tradi- 
tion that the ancestors of the " merino " sheep originally 
came from Britain, whence some derive their name from 
"Marino " owing to their having come by sea to Spain. A 
flock of sheep is said to have formed part of the dowry of 
John of Gaunt's daughter when she married the King of 
Castile. It is certain that at the beginning of the 15th century 
the finest wool was grown in Spain, where the poorness of the 
soil was favourable to the growth of fine hair and fibre, and it 
continued to take the first place until the advent of German 
wool deposed it under circumstances which will be narrated 
further on. 

In early days the wool was spun and woven in the cottages, 
where, frequently, the whole family was engaged in one or 
other of these occupations, as in the illustration. The previous 
processes at the mill were the sorting, scouring and dyeing of 
the wool, unless the cloth was piece dyed or the wool was given 
out to a public dyer. The sorting will be best explained when 
we come to the German wool, as most of that from Spain 
arrived sorted or classed. 


The natural grease in the wool was first loosened by 
boiling in stale urine (it is now done by a chemical alkali 
made for the purpose) and then rinsed out in clean waters 
which came under considerable pressure into long trough, 
guarded by perforated zinc or copper ; a man stood on a 
platform in the middle and worked the wool about with a 
prong, by which means it came out clean and white. After 
the rinsing it was dried, and this was done in the strange 


round towers still to be seen in some places. Flues ran round 
these towers, and the wool was hung above them. There is 
a good specimen of one of these towers at Frogmarsh, and 
also one at Avening, now used as a cattle shed. They look 
rather like Martello towers, and may puzzle antiquarians in 
after times as to their object. 

Dyeing was the next process. In order to get a good, 
permanent black, a foundation of blue is necessary, technically 
called " woading," from the fact that the vegetable woad was 
first used to produce it, and it continued to be employed in 
comparatively recent times, but, though still called woading, 
the dye now used is Indigo. Indigo is also a vegetable, grown 
principally in India, formerly worth, according to the season's 
crop, from 6s to ids per lb., but of late years " synthetic 
indigo " has been invented, which gives almost as good a re- 
sult at less than half the cost, and has consequently very 
much diminished the price of pure indigo and ruined the 
industry in India. Synthetic Indigo is a product of coal 
tar, and is said to have been first discovered by a Yorkshire- 
man, but the invention was improved by the Germans, and 
the trade in it has been captured by them. The process of 
producing this dye is a very expensive one, and the new 
industry was largely subsidised and protected by the German 
Government. One firm alone spent £1,000,000 on plant for 
making it. The absence of this dye has been a heavy loss to 
British Manufacturers, as no indigo of any sort can be bought 
under 12s a lb., and even at that price only in small quantities. 
It is earnestly to be hoped that the Royal Commission will 
be able to evolve some plan to enable it to be made profitably. 
Some measure of protection will be absolutely necessary, 
otherwise, when the War is over, the trade will go back to 
Germany, and all the capital spent on plants in this country 
will be lost. 

The wool, having been dyed, was then picked by women 
on wire hurdles to free it from dye wares, lints and other foreign 
substances, after which it was necessary to open up or dis- 
entangle the locks and knots by carding. 

Carding was formerly done by hand cards of wire, which 
must have been laborious and wearisome work. Carding or 


scribbling machines were not invented until the later years 
of the i8th century, and they must have been very different 
to the beautiful automatic machines of the present day, though 
they were a great saving of labour compared with the clumsy 
hand cards. The wool having been throughly mixed and 
disentangled was then ready for the next process of 


Wool was formerly spun in the cottages, as in the illustra- 
tion, by the women and children, the men doing the heavier 
work of weaving. It must have been a most difficult task to 
get the yarn to the required pitch, and it was one man's work 
to ride round to the different cottages to inspect and weigh 
the yarn before it was allowed to be sent in or paid for at the 
mill. It was no uncommon thing for the spinning to be so 
badly done that it had to be chopped up again, the spinners, 
of course, receiving nothing for their work. This unsatis- 
factory state of things passed away towards the end of the 
1 8th century owing to the invention of the " spinning Jenny," 
though it lingered on in some places till well into the 19th 
century. A few old spinning wheels are still preserved in the 
neighbourhood as curiosities, but they have long ceased to 
be used. 

Spinning by machinery was first invented towards the 
middle of the i8th century by the son of a Huguenot refugee, 
Louis Paul, whose invention was improved by Richard Ark- 
wright, and still further by Hargreaves. These machines were 
only adapted for spinning a few threads at a time, and were 
very different to the self-acting " Mules " of the present day, 
running hundreds of whirling spindles, and only requiring a 
girl to mend by hand any thread that happens to break, 
without stopping the machine. 

After spinning, the chain was " warped " on an upright 
frame studded at each end with wooden pegs, the worker, 
usually a woman, walking backwards and forwards and hitch- 
ing the chain on to the pegs at each end of the frame, joining 
it when necessary. The weft (locally called " abb "^ ) was also 
wound on to bobbins and the two were then ready for the loom. 
In the illustration, warping appears to be going on in a different 
manner, but I remember hand warping to have been done as 

I The union of the abb and the warp passed into a local proverb. A man wishing to say he 
would make an end of a thing or a complete job of it would say ; " I'll make abb and warp of it." 

144 history of the parishes of 


Before the year 1796 two men were required to work a 
loom, one at each end, throwing the shuttle across to the other. 
This method must have been very clumsy and troublesome, 
and it had a special disadvantage in the fact that if one of 
the workers was at the public-house, not an uncommon oc- 
currence with weavers, the other man was perforce idle and the 
loom earned no money. This difficulty was overcome by the 
introduction of the " fly shuttle," which enabled one man 
sitting in the middle to throw the shuttle from side to side by 
means of a string attached to a short handle. This was so 
great an improvement that it came rapidly into general use. 
The old system of weaving is still to be seen in some parts of 
the world. At Beyrout, in Syria, is a silk factory where 
beautiful materials are turned out entirely by manual labour, 
and there is not a wheel revolving by motive power in the 
whole place. The silk is wound from cocoons by children 
(alas ! some very young), spun on spinning wheels and woven 
on Jacquard looms, only that in this case three men are 
required to work the loom. One sits at each end and throws 
the shuttle across in the manner described above, and the 
man in the middle regulates the pattern and inserts when 
necessary gold and silver threads. The dyeing of the silk 
was done in pots. Altogether it was a very interesting ex- 
ample of the difficulties which must have occurred in the making 
of cloth before the introduction of machinery. Nevertheless, 
most beautiful silks were made at this factory, and probably 
the cloth turned out by manual labour in the olden time was 
equally satisfactory. 

The loom is one of the oldest machines of man's invention. 
Flax or wool could be spun with the distaff, and later with 
the spinning wheel, but both would have been useless without 
the loom to weave the yarn into material. Allusions to weaving 
are common in the Bible and in the poets. Job says : " My 
days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle ; " the shaft of 
Gohath's spear was " like a weaver's beam," and there are 
many other instances. Shakespeare says : (All's Well that 
Ends Well, Act 4, Sc. 3) — 

" The web of our life is a mingled yam, good and bad 
together ; " 

r/je Secon d Plate ofi6e Wo ol le5. 

i/?^/i^<et^/^r£AcXhnvtrh\Mngnzineaaivtii^^ {ZcU^far/^arrm? 

lure c^Jii/'t//tn^ C/fx Art /'/ 
^////y Woollen Cloth. 

'.jy^i/iA//t ,'!/ //.'/•^fu^'i /Infij /nAj.*/''nH/JfywtrA //an/./iuu/c/t 


And Scott in Marmion : — 

" Oh what a tangled web we weave 
When first we practice to deceive." 

Also Gray in " The Bard : "— 

" Weave the warp and weave the woof. 
The winding sheet of Edward's race." 

The old power loom came into general use in 1836. It 
was only capable of weaving the simplest kind of cloth, and 
for certain sorts of plain material it is still hard to beat, but 
whereas the older looms could only throw one shuttle about 
40 times a minute, the modem fast picking machines will 
throw two or three shuttles 100 times a minute and more for 
certain fabrics. 

Fulling or Felting. 

We now come to a process which is peculiar to wool. It 
lias for its object the thickening of the ground of the cloth 
and rendering it firm and compact. In order to explain this 
process it is necessary to refer again to the peculiar structure 
•of wool. If examined through the microscope it is found to 
•consist of cones fitted into one another, having a jagged or 
serrated edge, and when subjected to many doublings and 
redoublings, and much pressure in the fulling process, and 
moistened with soap, these serrated edges and cones become 
entangled together, and when once knit to one another never 
lose their hold. Thus a cloth, when first off the loom, is 
flimsy and almost transparent, but after fulling becomes a 
firm compact material. Cloths lose considerably in length 
and width during the fulling process. In ancient times this 
was the only process necessarily carried on at the Mills, whence 
the felting of cloth is spoken of as " Milling," and the man 
who does the work is " The MiUman." 

The earliest form of fulUng was probably effected by 
trampling on the cloth, and according to some, the common 
;name of " Walker " owes its origin to this method of felting 
the cloth. Some such process was common in ancient times, 
and we read in the " Visions of Piers Plowman : " — 

" Cloth that Cometh from the weaving is not 
comely to wear 
Till it be fulled under fote or in fulling stocks 
Washen well with water and with tazels crached 
Touked and teynted and under Taylors bond." 


From the above we conclude that fulling stocks were 
known in the time of Edward III., when the poem was written, 
and indeed they were in use long before that time. They 
were very familiar in later days, and I remember to have 
heard them going night and day and waking the echoes in the 
valleys. They were like gigantic wooden hammers, the heads 
weighing more than a hundredweight. The cloth was placed 
in the stock pits and the feet raised alternately and suffered 
to fall on it with great force, being lifted high by tappets 
fixed on a revolving shaft. It was a wonder how any cloth 
ever came out free from holes after being subjected to this 
hammering. It was a clumsy and dangerous machine, as 
it not infrequently happened that the workman fell into the 
stock pit whilst attending to the cloth, and in such cases he 
was lucky if he got out alive. The old stocks were super- 
seded by a very much better machine called a " Fuller," which 
felts the cloth more perfectly and expeditiously. In the 
stocks an obstinate cloth was sometimes pounded for a whole 
week, but in the modern fuller it is seldom necessary to run 
a cloth for more than 12 hours. The fuller consists of a pair 
of revolving wheels, which draw the cloth sewn end to end 
like a jack towel, through a brass mouthpiece and force it 
under a weighted board, doubled and redoubled on itself. 
By the friction it becomes warm, and it is plentifully moistened 
with soap until the millman judges that he has got it to the 
right pitch. Then it is put into the washer for cleansing. 
The washer has two heavy iron or wooden rollers, between 
which the cloth passes, sewn as in the fuller, and it is run 
with cleansing materials until quite clean. Formerly many 
abominations, of which the least objectionable was pig's 
blood, were used, and old millmen will tell you that these 
horrors cleaned the cloth better than the chemicals now used. 

Roughing or Dressing 

I do not know how this process was carried out by hand, 
but the machine now used, called a " gig," is of considerable 
antiquity, and nothing has been found better for the work 
done by it than the teazle {dipsacus fullorum). Though in 
the coarser cloth wire is sometimes used, the natural teazle 
is almost universally employed in the finer products of the 
West of England. The teazle requires a stiff clay soil, and is a 
difficult and expensive crop to grow, but is very profitable in 


a good season. It is grown in Somersetshire, and formerly 
also in Gloucestershire, but the great majority come from 

The teazles are fixed in small frames arranged round a 
large drum, which revolves rapidly, combing the face of the 
cloth to a soft long nap. Great judgment and dehcacy of 
touch are required for this process,and it is easy to rough a 
cloth through and thus ruin it, especially if new and hard 
teazles are used in the early stages. I remember an old and 
very experienced rougher who always gardened in gloves in 
order to preserve his touch. 


The long nap raised by the teazle now requires to be shorn 
off, otherwise the cloth after a few days wear would present 
the appearance of a silk hat brushed the wrong way. The 
shearing was formerly done by hand shears, something like 
those used for shearing the sheep, the cloth being stretched 
over a sloping board. The grinding of those shears was quite 
an art and a separate trade, carried on where there was a 
small head of water sufficient to drive a grindstone. The 
remains of a pond used for this purpose may still be seen at 
the bottom of the Well Hill at Minchinhampton, and another 
near Nailsworth. The sign of the " Shears " was formerly 
common on public houses, and one still exists at Watledge, 

A great improvement in shearing was made about 1815 
by Lewis, a Brimscombe manufacture, who invented what 
was called a " Cross Cutter," and took out a patent for his 
invention, which gave rise to a considerable amount of litiga- 
tion in after years. The principle of the Cross Cutter was 
very similar to a lawn mowing machine at the present day. 
The cloth was stretched on a frame, and a cylinder with spiral 
blades traversed it from list to list. One section having been 
cut, the next was quickly stretched by boys, who became 
very expert in this work, and this continued until the whole 
cloth had been cut. This system, which was a great improve- 
ment on the clumsy hand shears, gave way in its turn to the 
" Perpetual," which is on the same principle as the Cross 
Cutter — that is, a spiral blade working on a straight edge — 
but with the important difference that in the Perpetual the 


cloth is cut from end to end instead of in sections across it. 
The adjusting of these machines is highly skilled work, and a 
good foreman cutter or finisher deservedly earns high wages. 
The fine cloth next went through the process of potting — i.e., 
rolling it tightly on an iron roller and immersing it in water 
heated to about 150 degrees, by which means it is given a 
permanent lustre. This process was also patented. In the 
olden times the cloth was dried and stretched in racks in 
the open air, in fair weather, and when the weather was not 
favourable, in a long building heated by flues. This system 
is now superseded by the tentering machine, in which the cloth 
is stretched by means of small hooks to an even width; and 
dried by passing over steam heated pipes. The cloth is then 
sent to the warehouse, where it is pressed and packed ready 
for sale. 

We have now come to the finished cloth, and, although 
there are many other processes more or less important, I hope 
that this slight sketch will give an idea of the care and skill 
required for the production of a piece of fine cloth, and that 
those who possess a coat of such material will look upon it 
with greater respect than they otherwise would. 

In the next chapter I propose to return to the early days 
of the firm of William Playne & Co., and to give an account 
of the changes and vicissitudes through which it has passed. 

17 y^ ^i8qo 




The Clothing Trade {continued). 

THE records of the firm which survived the fire already 
mentioned, are somewhat confused and not easy to 
unravel. The accounts during the latter years of the i8th 
century are so mixed with personal and household expenses 
that they are difficult to disentangle, and moreover they are 
also intermixed with the accounts of a grist mill, which was 
run together with the cloth mill until the latter became very 
profitable, and the corn mill was given up. 

The new business of Martha Playne and Son seems to have 
become remunerative at once, and soon recovered from the 
confusion left at Thomas Playne's death. The capital em- 
ployed in the trade which on Nov. ist, 1791, was £4,861, had 
increased in 1801 to over £12,000, and during that time the 
legacies left by Thomas Playne to his children had all been 
paid in full, though, at his death, there had not been enough 
to go round. William Playne had also built his new house, 
which is now the western wing of Longfords House. 

The cloth made at Longfords consisted principally of 
superfine black and blue, single buff cassimeres, livery cloth, 
Spanish Stripes, etc. These Spanish Stripes, of which we 
shall have more to say later on, were so called because they were 
made of Spanish wool, and had a stripe in the list or selvage. 
They were bought by the merchants for export to China, but 
the trade had not at this time attained to the important posi- 
tion it occupied when taken up by the East India Company. 
It was a rather flimsy material with very little dress on it, and 
of an immense variety of colours, which, as the cloths were 
all piece dyed, must have been most difficult to get even and 
perfect with the dyeing materials then in use. 


No records survive of any large purchases of Spanish wool 
before the year 1809. In that year Napoleon closed all the 
ports of the continent to British trade, thinking by such means 
to deal a deadly blow to British credit and prosperity, his 
plans for the invasion of England having been shattered by 
Nelson at Trafalgar. This attempt to destroy British commerce 
proved a complete failure, but, nevertheless, while the me- 
bargo lasted prices of all commodities went up by leaps and 
bounds, and wool rose to unprecedented prices. Whether 
by accident, or foresight, the firm held a large stock of Spanish 
wool, and, whilst still keeping the mill going, the partners 
were able to sell the surplus at huge prices, thus making a 
large profit. On January nth, 1809, there is an invoice of 
77 bags of wool sold by the firm at prices ranging from 
9s 6d to IIS 6d per lb., according to quality, the total amount 
of the invoice being ;^8,65o. On February 7th, there is another 
invoice for a still larger amount, at prices ranging from i6s 6d to 
i8s per lb. In March the prices mounted higher, and there is 
a letter from London merchants saying that Spanish wool had 
changed hands at no less a price than 23s to 23s 6d per lb., 
and none was to be had under 22s, The natural consequence 
was that the price of cloth also rose with that of wool, and 
manufacturers were forced to raise their prices by 3s to 4s 6d 
per yard, and as the scarcity of wool increased, by 6s to 8s a 
yard. On January 19th, the following letter was received 
from a London house : — " We wish you to send us, soon as you 
can, as under, at as low a price as you can afford, not to exceed 
an advance of 6s a yard, and believe you will act liberally to 
us, and we shall act the same to you." Another dated August 
5th, complains that 50 pieces had not been delivered, and 
continues : — " We hope that you will not charge us so high as 
28s 6d for blacks, and pray don't be so anxious after riches, 
and recollect that we took of you when you could not sell." 
It would be refreshing to receive a few letters like the above 
at the present time ! 

The profits made by these transactions in wool, and the 
enhanced price of cloth were very large, and the business was 
considerably extended owing to the East India Co. coming 
into the market as buyers of Spanish Stripe, large contracts 
being offered by them for competition. This necessitated 
larger manufacturing premises, and therefore the buildings at 


Longfords were considerably increased, and other mills also 
were built, notably one at Horsley, now pulled down, but of 
which remains are still to be seen. 

The increase in the output of the firm necessitated a 
correspondingly large increase in the amount of wool bought. 
In 1816 there occurs a statement of account, showing pur- 
chases of Spanish wool amounting to the value of £41,331 
I2s 8d, and another in 1817 to ;^35,87i iis, in addition to 
other records of large purchases. 

Besides the large quantity of stripe made under contract 
for the East India Co., the regular trade was also extended, 
and in times of great activity wool was given out to other 
manufacturers to be spun and woven, and in some cases finished. 
It was sometimes necessary to divide out a part of the larger 
East India Co.'s orders so as to dehver them up to time, the 
original contracting firm being always held responsible for 
their punctual delivery. It sometimes happened that a large 
number of cloths were rejected, but by diplomacy and allow- 
ances matters were usually accommodated. The pieces of 
cloth for the East India Co. had to be of a uniform length of 
36 yards, 58I inches wide, and to weigh 34 lbs. The largest 
contract of which I have a record is for 10,000 pieces, but I 
believe there were some for an even larger amount. The 
East India Co. consigned the bulk of these stripes to " How 
Qua," a merchant in Canton, in a very large way, and I believe 
they were all sold in China. The bales were sealed with 
the family crest, an oak tree, and this mark came to be so 
well-known that the bales so sealed passed without question. 
The marks however, were forged after a time, and the im- 
munity from examination ceased. 

The following is a notice of a Warrant having been passed 
for payment at the Bank of England for Spanish Stripe bought 
by the East India Co. : — 

Mr Simons presents his Compliments to 
Messrs. William and Peter Playne and this 
day passed a Warrant 

For White Spanish Stripe Cloths £11,800 o o 
Dyed Spanish Stripe Cloths 12,735 16 i 

£24,535 16 I 
Office of Buying and Warehouse 

East India House, ist October, 1828. 


These periodical payments were paid in one cheque on 
the Bank of England. 

We must go back to the year 1806, when the great enter- 
prise of the creation of Longfords Lake was accomplished. 
Before this, the only storage of water was the present lower 
pond of comparatively small size. Water power was at that 
time a most valuable asset, for the steam engine had not come 
into general use, and water was, and still is, the cheapest 
motive power. The brothers conceived the idea of damming 
up the water of the main stream and many springs which fed 
it. It was a great work, and many days and nights of thought 
there must have been before the final decision was made. The 
dam is 150 yards long, and about 30 feet high, and the area 
of the lake was formerly 15 acres, but it has been much silted 
up at the upper end, which takes 2 or 3 acres off its original 
size. In places it has a depth of 26 feet, and is still a fine 
sheet of water. In order to pen this water in it was necessary 
to overflow some of Philip Sheppard's land, which was pur- 
chased for £400, a peppercorn rent of 2s 6d being reserved, 
which, however, was, I believe, never demanded or paid. 
I have been told by those, long since dead, who remember 
the construction of the dam, that a high wide dry wall was 
built, against which on both sides clay was puddled. The 
inner face of the dam was also clayed, and the outer covered 
with earth. The dam has never hitherto given any trouble, 
but the brothers had not complete confidence in their work, 
and did not venture to build their new mills across the valley. 
They therefore cut a canal of considerable length, which brought 
the water to the mills, built at right angles to the lake, and 
well away from the direct line of the flow of the water in case 
of the bursting of the dam. Although the dam has given no 
trouble, the canal constantly requires repair, and has been a 
perpetual expense to keep in order. The total cost of the 
dam, exclusive of the canal, was £945, not a high price for a 
work of that size. During the filling of the new lake very 
little water was allowed to go down stream, and actions were 
threatened by every mill-owner in the valley. But it was 
represented that the storage of so large a quantity would be 
very useful in dry seasons, and the opposition was gradually 
withdrawn, and the lake allowed to fill without further trouble. 
It was for many years a noted place for trout fishing, as the 














fish grew to a great size on the new bottom, but unfortunately 
someone was ill-advised enough to put in roach, which in- 
creased so rapidly that ultimately it was necessary to put 
in pike to keep them down. 

During the machine breaking riots the dam was guarded 
day and night, as it was proposed by the rioters to cut it 
through and sweep away the mills and machinery. Immense 
damage might have been done had the attempt not been frus- 

Notwithstanding the advantage of a large storage of water, 
steam engines were early in use at Longfords. Some of the 
earlier contracts with Boulton and Watt have not survived, 
and the first I have is dated 1815. The cost, without fixing 
or carriage, and also in addition to some accessories, was 
£970 for an engine of 20 h.p. Boulton and Watt at this 
time had almost a monopoly in the making of beam engines, 
but in subsequent transactions, in 1823 and 1826, competi- 
tion had materially reduced the price. Three of these engines 
were going at Longfords, and one at the Iron Mills in my 
recollection, and one of the early ones was only scrapped three 
years ago. 

The first invoice of German wool to any large extent 
which I have been able to discover is dated Jan. 24th, 1808, 
and was for 235 bales sold by March & Ebsworth, of London, 
" for their principals," at prices ranging from 4s to 6s 3d 
per lb., and the total is £15,359 9^ 6d. From this time 
onward more German and less Spanish wool was used at Long- 
fords. The imports from Spain gradually dwindled, and in 
a few years ceased altogether, the Spanish wool not being 
able to compete with the far finer German wool. The first 
flock of merino sheep introduced into Germany was presented 
by the King of Spain to the Elector of Saxony, about 1760, 
the poor and sandy soil of some parts of Saxony proving 
eminently suitable for the growth of fine-haired, short stapled 
wool. There were other importations of sheep from Spain, 
notably in 1778, and so much care was taken and so much 
judgment used in crossing that, before long, they far out- 
stripped their Spanish ancestors in fineness of fleece, and 
became famous as the " Electoral breed." The great demand 
for German wool stimulated its production until the fine wool 
merino sheep spread over the greater part of Saxony, Silesia, 


East and West Prussia, Poland and Moravia, and ultimately 
to Hungary. 

In the year 1824, William Playne, junior, made his first 
journey to Germany to buy wool in the place where it was 
grown, and in this enterprise he was the pioneer whose example 
was later on followed by other manufacturers. In these early 
days there were no wool fairs such as came later into existence, 
and the wool had to be bought at the various country houses, 
where Mr Playne and his broker were most hospitably enter- 
tained by the proprietors, who farmed their own estates, and 
took great pride in keeping up the quality of their sheep. 
The distance by road from Calais to Dresden was 850 miles, 
and Breslau some 200 miles farther. William Playne used 
to keep a carriage at Calais and drive all the way, and very 
monotonous and wearisome the journeys must have been, and 
the annoyance was increased by the examination of the lug- 
gage at the frontier of every little petty state before the estab- 
lishment of the Zollverein. It frequently happened that the 
luggage was unloaded and examined twice in one day. In 
one of these journeys, William Playne, senior, accompanied 
his son, and there are some very interesting letters which he 
wrote home describing the country he passed through, the 
state of agriculture, the wages of the workmen in town and 
country, the state of education, etc. 

Silesian wool soon came to the fore, and the great wool 
fair at Breslau was established, to which, in the early part of 
June, all the wool from the neighbourhood, and also from long 
distances, of sometimes two or three days' journey, was 
brought in by wagon and deposited in the streets and squares 
of the old city, or else in the warehouses of the Jews, who 
drove a very lucrative trade by lending money to the farmers 
and proprietors and taking the wool as security. 

Wool Sorting. 
The Spanish wool did not need much sorting, being already 
classed in Spain, but the sorting of German wool was a very 
skilled and elaborate process. There were usually five sorts 
in the finer German wool, called in most mills ist, 2nd, and 
so on according to quality. At Longfords the names were, 
and still are, RRR (treble R), RR (double R), R, F & T, be- 
sides " short coarse," or list. These names originated in the 


time of the Spanish wools ; F signifies " finos," or fine, " Ra- 
finos," very fine, " Tertias," or thirds. The German wool, 
being much finer, necessitated other names, and hence RR 
and RRR. 

The sorter stands surrounded by large baskets with a wire 
hurdle in front of him, on which he spreads the fleece, the 
head to the left and the tail to the right. A glance tells him 
the quahty of the bulk of the fleece, and knowing where to 
look for the different quahties he proceeds to " break " it. 
The finest wool on the sheep grows on the middle of the back, 
on the belly, and on the forelegs, the coarser on the breech, 
the neck, and the top of the head. These the sorter breaks 
off and throws into the proper baskets and the bulk into another, 
according to quality. It sometimes happened, but not 
often, that all five sorts were found on one fleece. The sheep 
which grew this wool were strange looking animals, very leggy, 
and with a very naked appearance. The small quanity of 
wool which they grew, sometimes i^ to 2 lbs. weight after 
they were washed, rendered them very delicate, and, during 
the severe winters in those parts, they were housed in barns 
and fed largely on rye and other dry food. The ryebeards 
were a very great nuisance, as, notwithstanding all the pro- 
cesses for getting rid of foreign matter, they still appeared on 
the face of the cloth, necessitating a whole army of " pickers " 
with tweezers, whose operations did not add to the beauty 
of the face of the cloth. This difficulty is now a thing of the 
past, as the cloth is passed through a bath containing a solu- 
tion composed chiefly of chloride of aluminum, which kills 
vegetable without affecting animal matter, and, after being 
baked at a temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit, the filth 
easily shakes out. Some manufacturers prefer to " pickle " 
the wool in a weak solution of sulphuric acid before dyeing. 
The German wool gradually decreased in quality owing to 
the carcase of the sheep becoming more valuable than the 
wool. New mutton-producing breeds were introduced, and, 
at the present time, very httle fine wool comes from the 
countries which formerly produced it in such large quantities. 
The wool now used at Longfords is almost exclusively Aus- 
trahan, exported in the grease, of the first clothing quality. 
The merino sheep was originally introduced into Australia 
from the Cape in the beginning of the 19th century, and, by 


the continued importation of the best blood from the con- 
tinent of Europe, the wool has attained a high degree of 
excellence both for clothing and for combing. The importa- 
tion of Australian wool at the present time is enormous. In 
1913 the importations for the year reached no less than 
2,296,000 bales, of the total value of about 20 million pounds 

In the years between 1836 and 1848 the profits of the 
firm gradually diminished. It was a transition period ; the 
stripe trade was dead, and competition, especially with York- 
shire, which was rapidly rising in importance as a manu- 
facturing centre, was very keen. In 1848 however, a change 
of fashion again brought the fine West of England Cloth into 
prominence, and then began the palmy days of the trade in 
the Stroud valleys. All the mills now silent or devoted to 
other trades were working to their utmost capacity, producing 
the famous Broad Cloth, which had so great a vogue for 
many years, not only in our own country, but also on the 
Continent and in America. No firm had a greater reputation 
for producing this Cloth than William Playne & Co., whose 
whole output was frequently sold as soon as it was finished 
to the large wholesale houses in London, in Manchester, and 
in Scotland. This prosperity lasted for about 40 years, when 
the fashion again changed ; the old broad cloth gradually 
disappeared, and cheaper materials were demanded. The 
superfine blue cloth for naval uniforms is still made to a con- 
siderable extent, but the black is seldom asked for. 

Towards the end of the year 1910, it became evident that 
the old four-storey Mill Buildings at Longfords were no longer 
safe for the modern heavy and quick-running machinery. The 
workshops in these old buildings were very low, scarcely more 
than 10 feet high, and the floors, moreover, were so saturated 
with oil and caked with grease that, had a fire occurred during 
working hours, those who were in the upper storeys of the old 
Mill might have had some difficulty in escaping. The outside 
walls, also, which had stood for more than a century, began 
to show signs of the heavy strain to which they had been sub- 
jected by the new machinery, and in all probability before 
long the Factory Inspector might have condemned them. 

It became an anxious consideration, therefore, whether 
the Mills should be closed and the business given up, or whether 






a very large outlay should be incurred by re-building the 
greater part of the Mill and in re-arranging the position of 
the machinery. Perhaps this outlay was not justified by 
the state of the business at that time. But the closing of the 
Mill, with all that it would involve, was a disaster which no 
one Hked to contemplate, and the necessary work was there- 
fore decided on. 

The great difficulty of building on any large scale was 
due to the narrowness of the valley, which was already oc- 
cupied by large buildings, and the problem was where to place 
another still larger, near enough to the power to be run in 
conjunction with those that were still in good condition. 
According to modern ideas, it is advisable to place as much 
as possible of the heavy machinery on the ground floor, thereby 
giving greater stability, causing less vibration, and, in the 
case of a shed, reducing the risk of fire to a minimum. 

After much consideration, and after examining several 
possible and impossible sites for the new building, only one 
seemed likely to be satisfactory, and though involving double 
the cost that would have been necessary if it had been possible 
to build on an ordinary foundation, yet it was open to less 
objection than other suggested sites. The decision, therefore, 
ultimately come to was to build the new shed over the middle 
pond, but on driving some experimental piles into the bed of 
this pond, the subsoil was found to be so marshy that no 
ordinary piling would have been of the slightest use. 

By the advice of Mr Robert Stotesbury, of Stonehouse, 
who was the Engineer and Architect of the building, ferro- 
concrete piles of large size were used. These piles were i8 feet 
long and 12 inches square, the bottom ends being pointed and 
shod with iron. They were made in square moulds, the steel 
core being completely covered with concrete. When suf- 
ficiently solid to be taken out of the moulds, they were allowed 
from one to two months to dry out completely, according to 
the weather. They were then driven into the bed of the 
pond at regular intervals by a steam " Monkey," weighing 
about a ton, until they came to a solid foundation on the 
Lias clay below. On these piles reinforced concrete beams, 
13" X 7", of similar construction were fixed, and, finally, a 
floor, also of ferro-concrete, 3" thick. No timber was used, 
except for scaffolding, and on this foundation the brick shed 


was built. It is 160 feet long and 85 feet in width, and even 
when all the machinery is running but little vibration is felt. 
A date stone, on which is carved the family crest (an Oak 
Tree), with the motto " Reviresco," records that it was laid 
by Mrs Playne, March i, 1912, and by the beginning of August 
in the same year the building had been finished and looms 
were running. 

The building of this shed enabled a re-arrangement of 
the workshops to be made, by which all the heavier machinery 
was brought down to the ground floor. In the illustration 
part of a new Spinning Mill is seen, in which are four self- 
acting " Mules," each containing 420 spindles, and only re- 
quiring the attention of a girl to mend any yarn that may 
happen to break, without stopping the machine. The whole 
Mill is run by electric power, except the Fullers and Washers, 
which are driven by water. The electricity is supplied from 
a central power station, the current being conveyed from the 
dynamo to motors in the various workshops. It is a much 
cleaner and neater system than the cumbersome cogwheels 
of former days, and the loss of power by friction is very much 
less. All the machinery now used in Longfords Mills is 
thoroughly up-to-date, and capable of turning out more cloth 
than at any time during the last fifty years. 

The demand for fine West of England Broadcloth gradually 
dwindled, and finally ceased altogether ; and though some of 
the older generation continued for some years to use it, very 
little was made after the year 1890, and it is now seldom asked 

Superfine Blue Cloths, together with other makes of 
blue for Naval purposes are still in demand, but, with the ex- 
tinction of the old black Broadcloth, it was, of course, neces- 
sary to make other materials which were more fashionable, 
and for which there was a readier sale, to take its place. 

A great variety of cloth is now turned out at Longfords, 
such as Beavers, Venetians, Serges, Tweeds, Worsted Coatings, 
Tropicals, &c., &c., and there is also a large trade in a great 
variety of fancy flannel suitings. No doubt there are other 
materials which will be made when the taste of the public 
demands them, and Longfords Mills are well equipped for 
supplying them when they come along. Since the War began, 









the Mills have been running, sometimes overtime, on Khaki 
and Naval Uniform cloth of all kinds, though in the case of 
the latter the shortage of the Indigo supply, already men- 
tioned, makes a difficulty. 

I am now come to the end of this sketch of the Clothing 
Trade, in which I have been engaged now for 50 years. We 
believe that there is still a future before the old business, and, 
supported by our workpeople, we trust that the day is far 
distant when Longfords Mills will have to be closed. 

With very few exceptions, all the Mills which formerly 
worked to their utmost capacity in producing the West of 
England Broadcloth are now devoted k) a great variety of 
other trades. From Avening the clothing business has en- 
tirely disappeared ; of the two Mills formerly worked there, 
one is now a Flour Mill, and the other, which stood near the 
old Rectory, and was called " George's Mill," has, within 
recent years, been pulled down. In Nailsworth several of 
the old Mills have disappeared, and the one left has been 
greatly enlarged, and now produces " leatherboards." The 
large Mills at Dunkirk are used for several purposes — hosiery, 
stick works, and the metal furniture for umbrellas. Some 
have taken to making flock for bedding, and at Dyehouse is 
a large and flourishing Brass Foundry. Thus the only Mills 
within the ancient Parish of Minchinhampton still working 
on woollen cloth are those of Messrs. WiUiam Playne & Co. 
at Longfords, and of Messrs. P. C. Evans & Co., of Brims- 
combe. There are some large Woollen Mills in other parishes, 
notably those of Messrs. Strachan & Co. at Lodgemore, Messrs. 
Apperley, Curtis & Co. at Dudbridge, and Messrs. Marling & Co. 
at King Stanley. There is also a large Mill at Eastington, and 
also at Cam, where cloth is still made. On the whole, though 
some of us may regret the decline of the old broadcloth, yet 
we must recognise that the new industries have done much 
to restore prosperity to the district. 




NO History of Minchinhampton would be complete without 
a mention of the accounts of the Churchwardens, 
which are of great interest. Since they were transcribed by 
the late Mr John Bruce, Treasurer of the Society of Anti- 
quaries, in 1854, and published in " Archseologia " (Vol. 
XXXV., pp. 409-452), extracts have frequently been published 
in the Parish Magazine and elsewhere. The accounts begin 
in 1555 — that is, in the second year of the reign of Philip and 

The ordinary ancient revenue of the Churchwardens, as 
shown in these accounts, was derived from the following 
sources : — i. The payment from Rodborough.^ 2. The profit 
from underletting a Church House and other houses, and of 
a piece of land held under a lease from the Lord of the Manor. 
3. " Hogling Money," which Mr Bruce considers to have been 
a customary payment by the sheep farmers of the parish for 
their hoglings or hoggets — that is, their sheep of the second 
year. This payment was discontinued in 1595. 4. Paschal 
Money, which was a customary contribution by parishioners 
who came " to take their rights " — that is, to confess, be 
absolved and receive the Eucharist at Easter. 5. An annual 
collection made by the Churchwardens from house to house 
throughout the Parish ; many contributed not in money 
but in kind, a large amount of wheat and malt being thus 
accumulated. The last item in the receipts is the profit 

I Before the building of the Church of Rodborough, an Aisle in the Mothei Church was set 
apart foF the accommodation of the People of Rodborough foi which a payment of 30S. pev annum 

was made. 


from Church Ale, brewed by the Churchwardens from the 
donations in kind. A feast was held at the Church House 
at Whitsuntide, when the Church Ale was sold to all comers, 
and the day passed in revels and rural sports. From this 
source the Churchwardens made a profit of £3 to £$ every 

Space will only allow a few typical extracts of these 
accounts to be given, and probably there are many copies of 
Mr Bruce's transcript still in existence for those who desire 
to study the whole. 

The first entry of receipts is as follows : — 

This ys the accompte off Jhon Cambryg and Andrewe 
Haward, churche wardens off Hampton, mayde in the 
seconde yere off Kyeng P. and M. In the yere off our 
lorde God 

Then follow various sums received for rent. 

The summe of thys, v li. j d. 
A long list of payments for the same year, a few of which 
are as follows : — 

Item, for vij li. off wax to make the pascall taper, the faunt 
taber and makyng, vij s. iij d. 

for smoke farthyng, x d. 

to Spennell for makyng off the sepulkyer, xij d. 

for drynkyns a good ffryday, iiij d. 

to Sir Roger for to bokys, ij s. vj d. 

for a pyxe, iij s. x d. 

for frankynesenns, j d. 

at the wysytacyonn, ij s. iiij d. 
Item, we mayd off owr ale and ester monye, iij li. xij d. 

The sume off owr charges ys, v li. xviij s. iij d. 

In the following year (1556) the titles given to Philip and 
Mary are interesting. 

o'^ Souayne [Lord] and Ladye Phillippe and Marie, by 
the grace of God kynge and queue of England, Fraunce, 
Naples, Jerusalem, and Irelande, Defendours of the 
Faith, Princes of Spayne and Sycyll, Archedukes of 
Austrie, Dukes of myllayne, burgundye and brabant, 
Countyes of haspurge, Flaunders and tyroU. 
Every year occur the payment of 20s from Rodborough, 


and hoglyng money, and also the various payments at the 
" vysytacion." 

These visitations occurring, as they did, every few months, 
were very onerous and expensive to the Churchwardens and 
parishioners. On this subject Mr Bruce says : " The people 
were not merely superintended, but were teased and irritated 
by perpetual visitations and inquiries, often about trifles. 
They were compelled to go to Tetbury, to Stroud, to Pains- 
wick, to Gloucester, to Cirencester, and, in turn, three or 
four times a year to most of the surrounding towns. And 
aU these visitations were attended by fees to the Paritor or 
summoning officer, one of the most unpopular of pubHc func- 
tionaries. He travelled round from parish to parish, taking 
with him, besides his summons, which he was paid for de- 
livering, a book of articles, or a brief, or a proclamation, or 
something or other, which was also to be paid for. At the 
day appointed the Churchwardens and sidesmen were bound 
to attend personally. They had to deliver returns often, as 
stated in these accounts, of " none recusants," but which 
they were bound to get written for them by some paid scribe, 
and which were, of course, not received or filed without pay- 
ment of fees to the officers of the Court. The parish also 
had to pay the travelling expenses of the persons representing 
it on these occasions, and the Churchwardens were not in- 
frequently called upon to purchase a copy of a new edition 
of some ecclesiastical book, which it was generally found 
economical to buy, as refusal was sure to be remembered, 
and sometimes to be followed by citation or excommunica- 
tion on some pretext or other, as, for instance, " Paid for 
takinge off our excommunication for not appearing when we 
were summoned, 6s 8d." As time went on these exactions 
became more and more onerous. In 1635, for example, 
there is an entry of a journey to Tetbury, when fees amounting 
to £l 2s yd were paid, and 

for makeinge a terriall of the ghbe lands, and caringe 
it in, 3 s. 5 d. ; at Gloucester court, for expences and fees, 

3 s. 2d.; the 2^ tyme, for expences and fees, 4 s. 6 d. ; 
the 3rd tyme, for expences and fees, is. yd.; the 4th 
tyme, for expences and fees, and the sydesmens charges 
there, 9 s. 4 d. ; the 5th tyme, for expences and fees, 

4 s. 4 d. ; at visitation, the 17th November, 12 s. id.; 
to the vissitor of the Church, 5 s, 


making a total of £3 6s od, which would represent a much 
larger sum in these days. Thus these unfortunate Church- 
wardens were compelled, in one year, to make a journey to 
Tetbury, five journeys to Gloucester, besides a visitation of their 
Church, entailing fresh expenses. It was no wonder that the 
Church of England and Episcopal government declined in 
popularity, owing largely to these perpetual imposts and 
over- watchful superintendence, especially under James I. and 
Charles I. 

On the accession of Queen Mary, the parishioners of 
Minchinhampton, who do not seem to have much favoured 
the Reformation, reverted with alacrity to the old religion. 
A Breviary was bought in 1555. Sir Roger the Priest was 
allowed 2s 6d for other books, and one Pockmore was 
also paid " for a boke 2s " in 1558. A Porthose (Breviary) 
cost I5d. Priestly vestments were provided at little cost. 
A carefully-preserved cope was mended at an expense of i2d ; a 
Rood cost xxs. a Tabernacle 12s. and a pyx 3s lod, and two 
surplices were also renovated at a cost of 3s 4d. 

For " Frankynegsens v j d.; for waxe to make the 
pastall taper and the fownt taper vj s.; for mayng the 
tapers off the Awter iij d.; for mendyng off the horgons 
xij d.; for mayng off the sepulkeyer, xij d.; for watchyng 
off the same xij d." 

Thus provided, Easter seems to have been celebrated 

with all the old fashioned pomp, but a change came over the 

scene, though very slowly, soon after the accession of Queen 

Elizabeth. Then, in 1576, the following accounts appear. 

Our charges at the Archebusshoppe of Canterburyes 

vysytacyone at Paynes wyck, ij s. ix d. ; for a book of 

artycles, vj d. ; for Pentecost money, otherwyse peter 

pence, sometyme payed to Antecryst of Roome, xvj d. ; 

for a booke of Commone prayer, v s. ; for ryngenge the 

daye of the Queues maiestyes enterynge unto the crowne, 

whome God longe tyme wee beseche to preserue, ix d. ; 

for aunswerynge the parishe mattere before the Com- 

myssoneres, iiij s. ; payed and dysbursed for aunswerynge 

dyuerse faulse vntrothes suggested by Wylliam Halle, 

Thomas Kembridge, John Hallydaye, John Sandelle, 

and Richard mallard, to the sayd Commyssyoneres, vj s. 

viij d. 


Notwithstanding the above, the Reformation did not 
make rapid progress at Minchinhampton. The parishioners 
seem to have been of a conservative disposition, and did not 
at once accommodate themselves to the new state of things ; 
and there were also two other reasons which tended to delay 
the change. The second Lord Windsor was a staunch sup- 
porter of Queen Mary, and the Rector of Minchinhampton, 
appointed by him, was the celebrated Gilbert Bourne who 
had the temerity to defame Edward VI. and extol Bishop 
Bonnor in a sermon at Paul's Cross, which so enraged the 
populace that he was barely saved from their violence by the 
intervention of Bradford and Rogers, the subsequent Martyrs, 
one of whom caught the dagger aimed at Bourne. Thus, 
whilst Bishop Hooper was doing his utmost to bring Protestant- 
ism to Gloucester, Bourne was doing all he could to keep it 
away from Minchinhampton. Bourne kept a Curate, who 
is alluded to in the accounts as " Sir Roger," and he, no 
doubt, followed in the footsteps of his Rector, who probably 
seldom came to Hampton after his appointment as Bishop 
of Bath and Wells by Queen Mary. 

A change came with the appointment of the next Rector, 
Thomas Freeman. A Bible of the new translation was bought, 
and a desk was erected at the pulpit, the prayers having 
previously been read at the altar. There is also a payment of 
6s 8d " to John Mayo and John Lyth for pullinge down, 
destroying, and throwing out of the Church sundry super- 
stitious things tending to the maintenance of idolatry." But 
it was not till 1594 that the Church was entirely purged of 
its idolatory, as in that year appears an entry " Paid : for a 
precept to Remoue the woman out of the churche porche." 
This was presumably a statue of the Virgin Mary. 

There are numberless entries of payments for killing 
certain animals considered to be mischievous. The heads of 
foxes, otters, " grayes " (badgers) were paid at the rate of 
IS each. Hedgehogs fetched 6d, and a bat's legs the same. 
Later on kites, jays and magpies were also paid for at varying 
rates. The entries on this subject in the accounts are in- 

The name of Lord Windsor in several generations occurs 
very frequently, and many other members of the family, 
sometimes under the name of " Mr Walter Wyndsor, Esquire." 


The last Lord Windsor gave the sum of £io towards the 
new casting of the Bells, which gift is thus recorded : — 

" I doe give out of my rents of minchinhampton, to 
bee payd by my bailife of that maner att the next receipt, 
toward the mackinge and new castinge of the belles in 
y* churche, the some of ten pound ; in wittnesse whereof, 
I have sett to my hand this 15th day of May, 1633." 

Thomas Windesor. 
In connection with Lord Windsor there is a well-known 
story related by Dugdale on the authority of the above 
Thomas Lord Windsor, the reference to which is given by 
Mr Bruce as " Baronage 308."^ 

" The family of Windsor had been seated for many 
generations at Stanwell, between Staines and Colnbrook, 
a situation which possessed the great advantages of 
contiguity to the metropolis and to Windsor. Henry 
VIIL thought their residence too near the latter place. 
He sent Lord Windsor a message that he would dine 
with him, and at the appointed time his Majesty arrived, 
and was received with bountiful and loyal hospitality. 
On leaving Stanwell, Henry addressed his host in words 
which breathe the very spirit of Ahab. He told Lord 
Windsor " that he liked so well of that place that he 
resolved to have it, yet not without a more beneficial ex- 
change." Lord Windsor answered that he hoped his High- 
ness was not in earnest. He pleaded that Stanwell had 
been the seat of his ancestors for many ages, and begged 
that His Majesty would not take it from him. The King 
replied that it must be so. With a stem countenance, he 
commanded Lord Windsor, upon his allegiance, to go 
speedily to the Attorney-General, who should more fully 
acquaint him with the royal pleasure. Lord Windsor 
obeyed his imperious master, and found the draught 
ready made of a conveyance, in exchange for Stanwell, 
of lands in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, and 
amongst them of the impropriate rectory of Minchin- 
hampton, with the Manor and a residence adjoining the 
town. Lord Windsor submitted to the enforced banish- 
ment, but it broke his heart. Being ordered to quit 
Stanwell immediately, he left there the provisions laid 

I Dugdale's Baronage of England, 1675-6, ii. 307-9. 


in for the keeping of his wonted Christmas hospitaUty, 
declaring, with a spirit more prince-Uke than the treat- 
ment he had received, that " they should not find it 
Bare Stan well." 
If he passed his Christmas in his new residence at 

Minchinhampton he probably found it bare enough. He died 

in the following March. 




BESIDES the Churchwardens' accounts, the Vestry 
Minutes of Minchinhampton, beginning about 1786, 
are also very interesting. The httle town and parish appear 
to have been well and successfully governed by our fore- 
fathers, and the Minutes show the care with which all questions 
coming before t^iem were discussed and settled. The names 
of some of the most regular attendants at these Meetings 
are still familiar among us, and their descendants also take 
their part in such local affairs as are left for them to manage. 

By the kindness of Mr and Mrs Sidney Webb, I am 
allowed to quote from their great work on " English Local 
Government " the following description of the business trans- 
acted by the Minchinhampton Vestry : — 

^ Such a quasi-voluntary local government is well 
seen in the records of Minchinhampton — an unincor- 
porated ancient town, and centre of the old-fashioned 
Gloucestershire Woollen Industry. The Minutes in the 
latter part of the eighteenth century reveal to us the Vestry 
meeting monthly to relieve the poor, repair the Church, 
and mend the roads. But we gather that at all these 
routine meetings, the " Vestry " consists only of the two 
or three Churchwardens and Overseers, other inhabi- 
tants only attending when the business personally con- 
cerned them. Thus the Rector, far from presiding by 
right of his office, only appears at long intervals, once to 
protest against a proposed removal of the Pound, and 
another time to sign a resolution, along with the principal 
tithe payers, by which the Parish agreed to exonerate 
his tithes from rates during his whole life, on condition 

I History of English Local Government, pp. 54-55. 


that he accepted a fixed composition. The half-a-dozen 
manufacturers do not bestir themselves to attend at 
all, until the high rates of 1800 incite them to discuss ways 
and means, and to resist the proposed new assessment 
of their mills. And here and there throughout the 
Minute Book, the attendance of this or that substantial 
ratepayer appears only when he comes to bargain with 
the Parish about the sum he will agree to pay for ex- 
oneration from his liability to maintain a bastard child. 
What is perhaps more significant is the evidence, during 
a whole generation, of the constant desire of the parish 
officers to fortify themselves in every important step, 
not merely by the legally authoritative resolution of a 
duly convened Vestry, but by the actual presence and 
signed agreement of all the principal inhabitants. When- 
ever the " Vestry " is about to " make, adjust and 
finish " a rate, embark on legal proceedings, raise men 
for the Militia, or revise the discipline and dietary of the 
Workhouse, the meeting is habitually adjourned, and 
the inhabitants of the Parish are specially summoned to 
the adjourned meeting and " earnestly requested to 
attend so that the general sense of the parish may be 
known upon the business." On one occasion, when the 
Parish officers were driven to re-organise the whole Poor 
Law administration of their little kingdom, they plain- 
tively urge, in their notice, that no plan will " succeed 
unless gentlemen of character and ability in the Parish 
take an active part in the parochial concerns so as to 
give a regular and vigorous attention at stated times." 
The Master of the Workhouse received, besides his keep, 
a salary of 15 guineas, subsequently increased to 20 guineas, 
and later still to 25. Besides the master and matron, there 
was the contractor, who " farmed " the inmates at certain 
rates, which at Minchinhampton do not seem to have erred 
on the side of extravagance. There were many other servants 
of the Parish, chief among whom was the Parish Clerk, ^ "hold- 
ing an immemoriar freehold office, half-way between that of 
a Curate, or assistant Minister and that of a Church menial." 
His appointment rested either with the incumbent or with 
the inhabitants in vestry assembled, where it sometimes 
became the subject of dispute. At Minchinhampton he was 

I History of English Local Government, p. 32. 









appointed by the Rector and licensed by the Chancellor of 
the Diocese, but to the office of Vestry Clerk, which he also 
usually held, he was appointed by the Vestry itself, which 
body also paid his salary. 

Another important officer was the Sexton, or Sacristan, 
appointed in Minchinhampton up to 1825 by the Rector and 
Churchwardens, but afterwards by the Vestry. Mr and 
Mrs Webb say that the office of Sexton was not uncommonly 
held by a woman. There is no mention of a Beadle, but he 
was a very usual functionary, as was also the Hayward, who, 
in Minchinhampton, has from time immemorial been appointed 
by the Court Leet of the Manor. Another amazing Parish 
officer is mentioned by Mr and Mrs Webb, though he does not 
occur in Minchinhampton, who acted as " Dog Whipper," 
and kept quiet during Divine Service the dogs which members 
of the congregation brought with them to Church. This 
official was armed with a whip and a wand " for the quieting 
of the children during Divine Service, as well as for whip- 
ping out of the dogs." An instance is mentioned where the 
dogs " from the Hall " were allowed a special pew where they 
were exempt from the attention of the dog whipper. 

In 1799 a Committee was appointed to consider the affairs 
of the Parish, probably on account of the great increase of 
the Poor Rate, and in 1800 the report of the Committee was 
presented and adopted by the Vestry, when it was " unani- 
mously resolved that for the management of the Parish con- 
cerns a General Board should be appointed consisting of 
twenty-five gentlemen, which Board should meet about once 
a quarter and the Churchwardens and Overseers for the time 
being shall be considered as Members of the Board ; at these 
quarterly meetings, they shall audit the accounts, order the 
payment of bills, confirm or rescind the rules of the weekly 
visiting committee, hereafter mentioned, and fix the assess- 
ment to be levied on the Parish." 

The little community continued thus to govern itself 
until the passing of the Poor Law Amendment Act in 1834 
deprived the Parishes of the greater part of their functions. 
A Commission appointed in 1832 to enquire into the administra- 
tion of the Poor Law by the Parish Vestries led to the Act 
of 1834 and the grouping of Parishes for Poor Law purposes 
into Unions under one central authority, to which each Parish 


contributed its guardians, elected by plural voting according 
to the amount at which each voter was rated. Under a rate- 
able value of £50 one vote only was allowed, and every £25 
in addition carried another up to the number of six votes. 
Most of the landowners possessed the full maximum number, 
and all Justices of the Peace were also ex-ofiicio guardians. 
This undemocratic form of election, known as the Sturges 
Bourne Acts, was not carried without considerable opposi- 
tion, especially in Lancashire and Yorkshire, where Vestry 
Meetings frequently ended in riots. Another of the principal 
causes of the decline in the authority of the Vestry was the 
opposition to the Church rate by the Nonconformists and 
Roman Catholics, who adopted a very effective method, known 
within recent years as " passive resistance." The means 
for the recovery of Church rates were cumbersome, especially 
in the case of the larger amounts, where an action in the 
ecclesiastical courts was necessary, or, if the amount did not 
exceed £10, the amount was recoverable before two Justices 
of the Peace, sitting in Petty Sessions. Compulsory Church 
Rates were finally abohshed in 1868, though they had long 
before this time fallen into disuse. Vestry Meetings are still 
held in country districts, but only once a year, usually at 
Easter, and the duties being merely nominal, are seldom 
attended by any parishioner except the Parish officials. 




I MUST in this Chapter also express my thanks to Mr and 
Mrs Sidney Webb for kindly allowing me to make use 
of their " Story of the King's Highway," a portion of their 
larger work on " Enghsh Local Government," from which 
I take the following extract : — 

^ The earliest highways in England of which there is 
any sign are the ancient trackways — sometimes first 
marked out by passing animals — which were used by the 
British inhabitants. These ancient lines of traffic were 
probably irregular and winding, and frequently worn 
below the level of the surrounding country. They ran 
from the higher country to points where the rivers were 
fordable. With some notable exceptions, they were not 
durable roads, but tracks from the high ground, where 
the Britons largely resided, to the shipping ports. So 
persisting and unyielding is popular usage, and so little 
thought has there ever been of changing the course of a 
public thoroughfare, that we may well imagine these 
ancient hollow-ways and ridgeways, from Cornwall to 
Northumberland, to survive, if not even in some lines of 
Roman road, at any rate in many a sunken lane or moor- 
land track, in many a field path or right-of-way. 

These sunken roads are well illustrated by the remains 
of a trackway leading through Hazelwood, in the Parish of 
Avening, still known by the name of the " Old Bristol Road." 

« The Story of the King's Highway p. 3. 


It is, as described above, very irregular and deeply hollowed 
out by the traffic, in some places being as much as twelve 
to fifteen feet below the level of the wood through which it 
passes, and only just wide enough to allow the passage of a 
loaded animal. Crossing the ancient road over the hills 
leading from Nailsworth to Avening, it passes through the 
British Camp, or village, at Ruggers Green, mentioned in 
Chapter I, and is seen again in the field road to Beverston. 
Continuing on the high ground, it dipped into the valley, 
probably at Dodington, as the present main road does, and so 
on to the port of Bristol. I have been told by those who were 
living before the making of the Turnpike road from Nails- 
worth Bridge to Avening Cross in 1823 that strings of horses 
and donkeys might frequently be seen winding through 
Hazelwood, over the " Longfords," and, unless that was their 
destination, on up the old lane, of which traces are still to be 
seen, to Minchinhampton. Another well-marked hollow-way 
rises from the Nailsworth valley, and, crossing what is now 
called the " W Hill," from its zigzag course, leads to Minchin- 
hampton and the Box. 

The principal Roman road in the neighbourhood was that 
leading from Corinium (Cirencester) to the Severn valley, 
passing over Minchinhampton Common, where traces of it 
are still to be seen. There is also a lane which crossed the 
brook near Little Britain farm and passed through the Roman 
pottery works, for the use of the great villa of Woodchester, 
and ultimately led to Hampton Common. The trackways 
mentioned above were also, no doubt, used by the Romans, 
and it was on altering the course of the old Bristol road that 
the votive altar mentioned in Chapter HI was found. 

The earlier history of the Roads under the Tudors and 
Stuarts is too large a subject to enter on, but it is a most 
interesting study and I cannot do better than refer those who 
are desirous of further information to " The Story of the 
King's Highway," quoted above, which is most interesting 
and entertaining reading. 

The English roads were in an almost incredibly bad state 
during the 17th and up to the beginning of the 19th century, 
and this is not to be wondered at considering the manner in 
which they were repaired. Instead of the modern steam 


roller, a " road plough " was frequently employed. Albert 
Pell, writing in 1887, says : — 

" People now living may have seen, decaying under 
the walls of the Parish Church, the enormous plough, 
girt and stayed with iron, which, as Spring approached, 
was annually furbished up and brought into the village 
street. For this the owners, or their tenants, acting in 
concert, made up joint teams of six or eight powerful 
horses, and proceeded to the restoration of their high- 
ways by ploughing them up, casting the furrow towards 
the centre, and then harrowing them down to a fairly 
level surface for the summer traffic. Right down to the 
opening of the nineteenth century England had practically 
nothing but soft dirt roads, mended with weak, rotten 
sand and gravel, or with flint or rolling pebbles, con- 
tributed by the farmers, and picked off the arable fields 
by the frozen fingers of rural infants. For all this miserable 
outfit statutable books had to be kept, made up, and 
verified ; a separate rate got out, solemnly allowed by 
Justices of the Peace, and then collected. The whole 
business ended with a wrangle at the Vestry, for which 
the Surveyor fortified himself with a brimming jorum 

of brandy and water. 

>> 1 

Turnpike Trusts came into existence about the year 1706, 
and during the whole of the i8th century, and in the early 
part of the 19th, they were established by thousands, separate 
Acts of Parliament being required for each Trust. In these 
Acts a certain number of persons of local position and influence 
were mentioned by name as the first Trustees, and some also 
were ex-officio members. The trustees were empowered to 
construct and maintain certain specified lengths of road, and 
to levy tolls thereon for a limited term of years, which were 
usually extended by a new Act. 

The first Turnpike Road Act in this neighbourhood re- 
ceived the Royal assent on March 21st, 1780, and a Meeting 
of Trustees was held on March 30th to make arrangements for 
carrying it into effect. These Meetings were for many years 
held at the Old Lodge on Hampton Common, which was 
designated as the first place of meeting in the Act of Parlia- 
ment. The Chairman at the first, and many subsequent 

I The Story of the King's Highway, pp. 33-33. 


meetings, was Sir Geo. Onesiphorus Paul, mentioned in 
Chapter VIII., and there are also signatures of others well- 
known in the neighbourhood at the time. At the first meeting 
it was decided that the roads sanctioned in the Act should 
be made in the following order : — 

istly. The road from Tiltups Barn through St. 
Chloe's grounds to Dudbridge. 

2ndly. The road from the bridge at Nailsworth to, 
or near the Fives Court^ on Minchinhampton Common. 

3rdly. The road from Nurligate on Selsley (Hill) by 
the Spout to near the Bear Inn in the Parish of Rodborough 
and from the park stile at Woodchester to join the new 
road to Frogmarsh. 

4thly. The road from Dudbridge through the 
Buckholt Wood to near the top of Frocester HiU. 

5thly. The road from the bridge at Nailsworth by 
Howcomb and the WellhiU to Minchinhampton Town." 

At the next meeting it was agreed to direct Mr Weston 
to stake out the tracks of the different roads and to plan 
them for a fee of £32. 

On the 19th of April it was ordered that advertisements 
be inserted in the Gloucester and Birmingham newspapers 
inviting tenders for making the line of road from Tiltups Inn 
to Dudbridge, and on the 13th of June the tender of Dennis 
Edison, of Chester, amounting to £1,400, for making the 
first line of road, was accepted and ordered to be embodied 
in a formal agreement. At the same time a Committee was 
appointed to value the land required for the road, and on the 
26th of June they made their report. The valuations range 
from 20S to 60s per acre per annum, 35s being about the 
average and the fee simple of the land was computed at 26 
years' purchase on the rental. It will readily be imagined that 
very few were satisfied with the value placed on their land, 
and eventually Counsel's opinion had to be taken before the 
matter was finally settled. To provide funds for the expenses 
of obtaining the Act of Parliament, and for payments on 
account to the Contractor and for many other expenses, 
money was advanced by members of the Committee in return 

< The Fives Court was at the Half -Way House Inn and the wall against which the game was 
played is still to be seen. 


for Bonds bearing interest at 5%. During the existence of 
the turnpike system, these Bonds were a favourite form of 
investment, and very large amounts were raised by these 
means all over the country, as, on the security of the revenue 
from the turnpikes, they were considered perfectly safe. 
Bonds were periodically paid off, but there were still some 
remaining when the abohtion of the turnpikes extinguished 
the security. 

Finally, towards the end of the year 1781, the road was 
finished and open for traffic, and on the 19th of February, 
1782, it was ordered by the Trustees " That an Advertisement 
be without delay sent to the Dublin paper, ' St. James's 
Chronicle,' ' London Evening Post,' a Bristol, Bath, and 
Gloucester newspaper, making public our new road." 

The Tolls were fixed as under : — 

For every Horse, Mare, Gelding, Mule 

or other Beast or Cattle drawing any 

carriage . . . . . . . . 4^ 

For every Horse, Mare, etc., not 

drawing . . . . . . , . id 

For every drove of Oxen or other 

neat Cattle . . . . per score lod 

For Calves, Sheep, or Swine per score $d 
For broad wheeled Waggons or Carts 

per horse . . . . . . . . 3^ 

For narrow wheeled carriages 

per horse ^^d 
For narrow wheeled waggons with 

four horses, from Nov. ist to 

April 30th . . . . , . . . 2s 

For the remainder of the year . . is 6d 

The tolls were at first let to contractors by public auction 
to the highest bidder, but this system gave rise to a con- 
siderable amount of fraud, as the bidders made a ring amongst 
themselves to keep the prices down. So unsatisfactory was 
the bidding sometimes that the Trustees took the collection 
of tolls into their own hands, and the gate-keepers were sworn 
to give an honest account of all tolls taken. This system did 
not work at all satisfactorily, and there were perpetual quarrels 
between the Surveyor and the Turnpike Keepers, with the 


result that the Trustees had to revert to letting the Tolls by 

The Turnpikes did not become established without con- 
siderable opposition, and there are in these Minutes accounts 
of prosecution for damaging the gates and assaulting the 
keepers. This, however, was nothing to what occurred, 
principally in South Wales, during the " Rebecca " riots in 
1842-43. Armed gangs of men, sometimes disguised as 
women, assembled at night, destroyed the gates, and pulled 
down the pike houses, allowing the unfortunate tolltaker 
only time enough to move his goods into an adjoining field. 
Carmarthenshire alone had eighty gates destroyed, and in 
the counties of Pembroke and Cardigan not a gate was left 
standing. These gangs went by the name of " Rebecca and 
her children," in allusion to the verse in Genesis (xxiv., 60), 
in which Rebecca is promised that she shall possess the " Gate " 
of her enemies. ^ 

During the latter part of the i8th century, and the first 
half of the 19th, the roads and trusts multipUed exceedingly, 
so much so that the old Borough of Stroud alone had no less 
than 13 different Trusts, each levying its own tolls, and it was 
quite possible in a short journey to be compelled to pay at 
three, or even four, gates. Attempts were made to amalgamate 
some of the Trusts, where they were most redundant, but 
little good was done, owing chiefly to the difficulty of adjusting 
the finances of the different roads, some being much more in 
debt than others. 

The old Turnpike roads were very different to the main 
roads of the present day, and in an oolite district especially, 
where only soft stone was available, the surface must have been 
truly deplorable. The macadam system no doubt effected 
considerable improvement, but still the unsuitabiUty of the 
local stone remained, and it was not until the establishment 
of the railways, that it was possible to procure more suitable 
stone. Owing to the poverty of the Trusts and the great 
difficulty of haulage, only a limited quantity of the harder 
stone could be used on the roads, especially in districts far 
away from a railway. Many of us can remember, before the 
coming of the steam roller and the general adoption of suitable 
material, how heart-breaking it was to drive over a stretch of 

• Fob a description of the " Rebecca " Riots see The Story of the King's Highway, pp. 317-230. 


road newly metalled, bruising the feet of the horses, and 
ruining the wheels of the carriages, and how in a wet season 
the surface of the road was a sea of deep sticky mud ; the 
present generation is truly fortunate in having the beautiful 
roads of the present day provided for their use. 

The last road made in this district was entirely in the 
Parish of Avening, and the Act authorising it received the 
Royal assent May 24th, 1822. It is described in the Act as 
"A new piece of road to lead from, or from near, the bridge at 
Nailsworth, by or near a place called Longfords to a place 
called The Cross, in the Parish of Avening, all in the county 
of Gloucester." This road cut off the old Pack Horse Track 
through Hazelwood, already mentioned, a new road being 
made to take its place starting from the Iron Mills. 

The abolition of Turnpike Trusts began in 1865, was 
accelerated by the Act of 1870, and completed about the year 
1890. Thousands of miles of " distumpiked " roads were 
thus thrown on the rates, causing great resentment, which 
was to a certain extent mitigated in 1876 by a "Grant in Aid.'* 
In 1888 the County Councils were established, and an addi- 
tional grant was given with the obligation of maintaining the 
main roads. 

By the same local government act the maintenance of the 
Highways, or secondary roads, was thrown on the District 
Council. These Highways had frequently been maintained 
by the Parish, combined with a system of poor relief. Thus 
a Minchinhampton Vestry Minute in 1826 says : — " Many 
of the Highways in this Parish requiring great improvement, 
it is unanimously resolved that the best means of providing 
for the able poor will be to consolidate the highway rates of 
this parish, and employ such poor in repairing such highwa}^, 
and in sloping the Quarries of the Common so as to render them 
less dangerous ; that the price to be paid by the Parish for 
labour shall be three-fifths of such sum as shall be named by 
Mr Smart as a fair compensation, he so calculating as to allow 
an able labourer, accustomed to such work, to earn ten shillings 
per week ; that Mr Smart be appointed superintendent and 
that he bring in his charge for such superintendence at every 
monthly meeting." 

There is but little more to be said as to the roads in our 
two Parishes. Considering the hilly country in which they 



are situated, and some other disadvantages, both main roads 
and Rural Council secondary roads are good andwell main- 

I here finish the story of the Parishes of Minchinhampton 
and Avening, and, though I am well aware that there are 
further details connected with this history which might have 
been included, yet I hope that this sketch will be of interest to 
those of my readers who live within the boundaries of the two 
Parishes or in their neighbourhood. 



Abbot, George, Archbishop, 76, 77 

Robert, 125 
Adams, Mr., 127, 128 
Ainslow, — , 52 
Alan, Count, 17 
Aldetheleye, 99 
Alexander IV., Pope, 99 
Alfred the Great, 18 
Algar, 17 

Alkerington, Richard, 75, 82 
AUington Castle, 132 
Alvastra Abbey, 28 
Amberley, 9, 48 

Church, 48 

Coppice, 125 

Green, 125 

Spring, 8 
Anger ham, 99 
Ansloe, — , 52 
Antwerp, 33 

Apperley, Curtis, & Co., 159 
Arena, Philip, 82 
Arkwright, Richard, 143 
Ashby, Margaret, Abbess, 32 
Ashton, Vicar of, 75 
Ashwell, Peter de, 81 
Aston, 24, 35 

Chapel at, 122 

Manor of, 20, 94, 95 
Astrope-Wells, 112 
Athebald, King, 14-15 
AthencB Oxonienses, 107, 108 
Atkyns, Sir Robert, Junr., 97 

Sir Robert, Senior, 97 
Aulnager, Office of, 133 
Aulus Plautius, 12,13 
Avening, 142 

Advowson, 44 

Association with 
Minchinhampton, i 

Barrow, 4 

Boundaries, 2 

British Camp, 1 72 

Brook, I 

Charity Land at, 83 

Church, 22, 23, 46, 49, 90-95 
Altar, 55 
Bells, 94 

Carvings in, 92, 93 
Communion Table, 93 
Font, 93 
Lady Chapel, 92 
Monuments, 94-95 
Registers, 102 

Avening — 

Church Farm, 95 

Cloth trade, 159 

Court, 95, 120 

Cross, Road to, 172, 177 

Hawk's Eyrey at, 20 

Hazelwood, 2, 12, 15, 24, 125, 171, 

Manor of, i, 17-20, 22, 23, 24, 33, 
38, 39, 41, 72, 94 
Deed of Gift, 17 
Granted to Lord Windsor, 35 
Possessed by Syon Abbey, 30 
Sale to Samuel Sheppard, 35 
Under the Nuns of Caen, 21-26 
Under the Nuns of Syon, 27-35 
Value of, 20 

Manor House, 120 

Old Bristol Road, 171 -172 

Rectors of, 38, 43, 99-108 

Rectory, 108, 113, 120 

Road constructed in, 177 

Rowden Wood, 24 

Rugger's Green, 4, 172 

Saxon Charter, 14-15 

Situation of, 2 

Trackway through, 171 -172 

Tumulus, 4 

Westgrove Wood, 24 

Wilverding Wood, 24 
Avenynge, Peter, 81 

Baddeley, W. St. Clair, 14, 121 
Baker, Barwick, 47 
Baldwin, of Flanders, 16, 17 

Steward of Gatcombe, 41 
Ball, J. G., 59 

Morton, 59 

Richard, loi 
Balls Green Quarry, 5, 9, 10 
Barrows, 4 

Bartholomew Cloth Fair, 130 
Bateman, Frederick Douglas, 80 
Bath, Thomas, ist Marquis of, 38 

Mary, daughter of, 38 
Bath and Wells, Bishop of, 76 
Battersea, 37 
Baynes, C. R., 57, 117 

Mrs., 57 

Misses, 117 
Beatrix, Abbess of Caen, 22 
Bedford, Archdeacon of, 76 

John Duke of, 30 
Beene, Alice, 97 



Bellows, John, no 

Benson, Martin, Bishop, 127 

Beresford, — , 95 

Berkeley, Sir Maurice de (i), 29 

Sir Maurice (ii.), 29 
Beryk St. John, Parson of, 75 
Beverston, 2, 172 

Living of, 106 
Beyton, John, 100 
Bigod, Roger, 17 
Bishops, Seven, Trial of, 103-4 
Bisley, 138 
" Black Assizes," 61 
Bliss, Dr. Philip, 107, 108 

Rev. Philip, 107 
Boketon, Rector of, 73 
Boniface IX., Pope, 28 
Bonnor, Bishop, 164 
Bonvalet, Philip, 100, loi 
Boots, Laws relating to, 66 
Bordar, Meaning of, 19 
Borrett, Simon, loi 
Boulogne, Eustace Count of, 16 

Goda, wife of, 16, 17 
Boulton and Watt, 153 
Bourne, Gilbert, 75, 76, 164 

Phihp, 76 
Box Spring, 8 
Bracosa, William de, 17 
Bradford, Martyr, 164 
Bradley, James, 66-67 
Brasses at — 

Bruges, 63 

Minchinhampton, 63-65 
Brictric, 17, 18, 20 
Bridget, Saint, 28 
Bridgettine Order, 29-30 

See also Syon Abbey 
Brimscombe, 6, 48 

Church, 48 

Mills, 159 
Bristol, 172 

St. George's Church, 109 

Serfdom in, 19 
Britain, Conquest by Romans, 12 
Britby, William de, loi 
Brockholes, John, loi 
Bronze Age, 3 
Brooke, Rev. F. R., 120 

J. F., 107 

Thomas, 107 

Thomas Richard, 107, 108 
Browne, Dr., 95 

Constantia, Abbess, 32 
Bruce, John, 52, 59, 160 
Bruges, Brass at, 63 
Bryans, Rev. E. L., 57, 80 

Herbert, 57 
Brydges, Henry, 95, 96 
Buck Family, 68 

Jeremiah, 46, 67, 84-89 
Arms of, 88 

Jeremiah (ii.), 89 

Buck Family — 

Ursula {nSe Selwyn), 84, 88. See 
also Tooke 
Buckington (Wilts.), 38 
Bucler, Sir Walter, 82 
Building Stone, 9, 10 
Bull, George, Bishop, 105-6, 109-114 

Rachel (nie Stephens), 114 
Burges, — , 56 
Bushe, William, 102 
Byrch, George, 76 

Caen — 

L'Abbaye aux Dames, 16, 17, 21-6 

Abbesses of, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 

51. 73. 99. 100, loi 
L'Abbaye aux Hommes, 16, 20, 

21, 74, 99, 100 
Convent of the Holy Trinity, 16, 

17. 75 

Monastery of St. Etienne, 16 
Calcutt, Mrs., 119 
Calne, i 
Cam Mill, 159 
Cambridge Family, 68 

Nathaniel, 121 
Cambryg, John, 161 
Canning, Mrs Mary, 105 
Capel, Elizabeth, 38 

Sir Gamaliel, 38 
Carding, 142-143 
Carey, Sir Henry, 76 
Carpenter, — , 92 

John, Bishop, 75 
Castile, King of, 141 
Catherine, Saint, of Sweden, 28 
Cecily, Abbess of Caen, 21 ' 

Cenomani, The, 16 
Cerney (South), 86 
Chalford, 135 
Chalkford, Thomas de, 81 
Chambers, Fras., 55 
Chandos, John Lord, 95 
Chantries, 81, 82 

Chantry Commission in Gloucester- 
shire, 82, 83 
Charcoal Burning, 24 
Charges, Dan. H., 46 
Charles I., 124 

at Matson, 88 
Charles, Prince, 88 
Ched worth Villa, 13 
Cheltenham, William de, loi 

Manor of, 29 

Mrs. Siddons at, 117 
Cherington, 2 

Bell at, 94 

Curate of, 79 

Inquisition at, 51 

Land at, 51 
Chester, Hugh, Earl of, 17 
Chipping Campden Church, 130 
Chipping Norton, " Intruder " at, 77 



Chudleigh, 31, 34 
Church Ale, 161 
Cirencester, Walter de, loi 
Cirencester, i, 14, 84, 130, 172 

Abbey, 23 

Abbot of, 22, 23 

Danish battle near, 13 

Hundred of, 23 
Claudius, Emperor, 12 
Clay Slips, 8, 9 
CUfiord, Joseph, 37 

Mary {nde Sheppard), 37 

Richard, Bishop, 27 
Clift, Samuel, 78 
Cloth trade, 129-159 
Clutterbuck Family, 68, 119 

Anne {nie Sheppard), 118 
Household accounts of, 11 8-9 

Edmund, 44, 106, 118 

Molly, 118, 119 
Cockin Family, 117 

Miss, 79 

William, 79, 80 
Coke, Giles, 102 
Coleme, 99 
Colesbome, 37 
Compton Family, 96 

Case of Compton v, Compton, 

Alice, 96-98 

Walter, 96-98 
Corinium, 13 
Cotswold Hills, 13 

Sands, 6, 10 
Cottar, Meaning of, 19 
Courts Leet, 72 
Cox, Mr., 119 

Charles, 38 

Giles, 102 

Sarah, 38 
Coxe, Thomas Chamberlayne, 106 
Cremation, 61-62 

Society, 62 
Cromwell, Thomas, 31 
Cwichelm, 13 
Cynegils, 13 

Dalton, Dr., 50 
Danes, The, 13-15 
Daneway, The, 14 
Danish Invasions, 13, 14 
Darell, Anne, 38, 39 

Edward, 38, 39 
Davis, Cecil T., 63, 70 
Deane, Charles, 102 

John a, 76 
Declaration of Indulgence, 103 
Dene-weg, 14 
Denham, Manor of, 75 
Dent, Mrs., 95 
Dodington, 172 

Rector of, 107 
Dog Whipper, Office of, 169 

Doleman, William, 77, 78 
Domesday Survey, 18-20 
Commissioners for Gloucestershire, 

Doucet, Peter, 99-100 
Downe, William Ducie Lord, 38 
Dressing (Cloth), 146-7 
Driver Family, 94 

Charles, 94 

Elizabeth, 94 

John, 94 

John (ii.), 94 

Matthew, 94 
Dudbridge, i, 174 

Mills, 159 
Dunch, Lady, no 
Dunet, 99 
Dunkirk Mills, 159 
Duntisboume Rous, 20 
Dyehouse Mills, 9 
Dyeing Process, 142 

East India Company, 149, 150, 151 
Eastington Mill, 159 
Edison, Dennis, 174 
Edward III., 131 
Edward the Confessor, 16 
Edward the Elder, 13, 14 
Edward, Viscount, 17 
Edwards, Edgar William, 108 
Eleanor, Queen, 100 
Elizabeth, Queen, 26 
Elkeston, John de, 74 
Ercheband, John, loi 
Eric, King of Norway, 28 
Erskine, Thomas Lord, 79, 80 
Estcourt Family, 95 

Jasper, 45 
Estrude, 99 
Ethelred, King, 14 
Evans, Rev. T. S., 104 
Evans & Co., 159 
Evelyn, John, 104 
Exeter Station, 10 

Fairford Church, 130 
Falconer, Thomas, 42 
Farrer, John, 78 
Felstade, William de, 24 
Felsted, Manor of, 16 
Felling, 145-146 
Ferriby, John, 87 

William de, 74 
Ferrieres, Henry de, 17, 19 
Fettiplace, Colonel, 87 
Finch, Lord Chancellor, 112 
Firmarius (bailiff), 25, 36 
fitz Herbert, Adam, 19 
Fitzhugh, Henry Lord, 28 

Laura, 29 
Flanders, Baldwin Duke of, 16, 17 
Flikesburg, 99 
Flint implements, 4 



Forwood Spring, 8 
Fossils, 5-1 1 

Origin of, 8 
Foster, Father, 33, 34 
Fowler Family, 84 

Henry, 77, 84-86, 128 

Dr. Henry, 84 

Mary, 1 19-120 

Mrs., 86 
Framilode, i 
Frampton, Robert, Bishop, 102-5 

Mary, his wife, 105 
Frampton, i, 106 

Frampton Cotterell, Rector of, 107 
Frankalmoign, 30 
Frankpledge, Custom of, 22 
Freeman, Thomas, 76, 164 
Freestone, 6, 9 
Frocester Hill, 174 
Frogmarsh, 140, 142, 174 
Frome, River, i 
Frome Hall, 66 
Fryer, Dr., 93 
Fuller's Earth, 6 

Clay Springs, 8 
Fulling, 145-146 
Fyld, Sybil, 97 

Garrick, David, 117 
Gatcombe, 125 

Barrow, 4 

House, 40, 41 

Park, 38, 72, 120 

Wood, 2 
Gaunt, John of, 141 

Catharine, daughter of, 141 
Geikie, Professor, quoted, 3 
Geology of Stroud, 6 
Geology of the Cotswold Hills, 5 
George, John, 87 
Gibbes, Elizabeth, Abbess, 32 
Giffard, Walter, 19 
Gifford, Godfrey, Bishop, 73, 100 
Giles, John, loi 

Ginsborough, William, Bishop, 99 
Glacial period, 3 
Glevum, 13 
Gloucester, i 

Bequest to Monasteries of, 65 

Cathedral Library, 84 

College School, 127 

Crypt School, 127 

Domesday Book ordered at, 18 

Infirmary, 119 

Prebendary of, 78, 112 

Siege of, 88, 124 

Witan at, 18 
Gloucestershire, Domesday Survey, 

Goda, Countess, i6, 17 
" Golden Valley," i 
Graham, Dorothy, Abbess, 32 
Gravener, Sir Richard, 82, 83 

Great Chart, 133 
Great Western Railway, i 
Greenway, J., 87 
Gregory VII., Pope, 21 
Grevel, William, 130 
Grifi&n, Thomas, 44, 106 
Grimston, Hon. Harbottle, 79 
Gyan. Richard, 75 
William, 75, 82 

Haboucumb, 15 
Hadlow, 132 
Haesburgh, 15 
Haines, H., 69, 70 
Hale, Mary, 114 

Sir Matthew, 114 
Halford, Mary Theresa, Abbess, 34 
Haliday, see Halyday 
Hall, John, 102 

William, 102 

William (ii.), 102 
Halle, William, 163 
Halley, Edmund, 67 
Halyday Family, 66 

Agnes, 65 

Alianore, 65 

Anne, 97 

Catherine, 65 

Edward, Brass of, 64-65, 66, 77 
Merchant's Mark, 64 
Will of, 65 

Edward (ii.), 65, 66 

Elizabeth, 65 

Henry, 65 

Joan, 65 

John, 163 

Margery, Brass of, 64-5 
Will of, 65-6 

Michael, 65, 66, 77, 78 

Richard, 65 

William, 65, 66 
Hampton, Lady Alicia, 30, 63, 69- 

Bell inscribed, 70-1 
Benefactions of, 71 
Brass of, 69-70 

John, 70 
Brass of, 63, 69, 70 

Sir William, 70 
Hampton, see Minchinhampton 
Hardanleag, see Harleywood 
Hardman, Messrs., 56, 57 
Hargreaves, — , 143 
Harsfeld, Matthew, 74 
Harstone, John de, loi 

Thomas de, loi 
Hathway, Thomas, loi 
Haward, Andrew, 161 
Haweis, H. R., 62 
Haydon, John, 65 
Heath, Sir Robert, 86 
Heaton, John, 44 

Rev. Robert Salusbury, 44, 79, 106 



Henry II., 130 
Henry V., 27 
Henry VI., 28 
Henry VIII., 31, 165 
Henry, King of France, 16 
Henry of Normandy, 17 
Heme, — ,77 
Hertfeld, Parson of, 75 
Hickman, Thomas, 35 
Hieron (or Heam), Samuel, 78 
Highlands, 9 

Highways and Roads, 171-178 
Hillar (Hillier), Charles, 37 

Rebecca {nie Sheppard), 37 
Hinton, Manor of, 29 
Hockday, or Hocktide, 22 
Hogling Money, 160 
Holcombe, 15 

Mill, 10 
Hook, Dr., 81 
Hooper, Bishop, 164 
Horsley, 21, 37 

Mill, 151 
Horton, 107 
Horwood, Jane, 38 

Thomas, 38 
Houton, John de, 74 
Howcomb, 174 

How Qua, Cloth Merchant, 151 
Hroald, 14 

Hungerforde, Sir Anthony, 82 
Huxton, Matilda, Abbess, 32 
Hyett, Charles, 36 

F. A., 35, 36 

James, 35, 36 

Richard, 36 

Roger, 36 

Thomas, 36 

Iden Family, 132 
lies Family, 68 

Joseph, 55 
Inchbrook, 2 
Indigo, 142 

Infangthef , Right of, 24 
Inman, William, 102 
Iron Age, 3 
Iron Mills Hill, 10 
Isleworth, 28 

James I., 76 

James, Prince, 88 

Jasper, Rev. Humphrey, 86, 87 

Humphrey (ii.), 87 
Jefferies, Henry Charles, 79 
Joan, Abbess of Caen, 24 
Jones, Clockmaker, 70 
Jordan, Agnes, Abbess, 31, 32, 33, 

Julienne, Abbess of Caen, 25 
Julius Caesar, 12 

Keene, Anthony, 47 
Kembridge, Thomas, 163 
Kent, 12 

Kingscote, William, 121 
Kingscote, 2 
King Stanley Mills, 159 
Kirkham, John, 96 
Knight, Mary, 38, 43 
Thomas, 38 

Lancaster, Henry Earl of, loi 
Lanfranc, Archbishop, 17 
Lapthome, Anthony, 76, 77 
Ledbury, 99 
Lee, Rev. Charles, 38 

Elizabeth, 38 

Jack, 80 
Leobury, William de, 100 
Leverton, Alan, 75 
Lewis, — , 147 
Lias Clay, 6, 10 
Lisbon, 33, 34 
Lizens, 61 

Llandaff, Archdeacon of, 114 
Lloyd, Richard, 125 
Lockhawe, John, loi 
Lodgemore Mills, 42, 159 
Longfords, see Minchinhampton 
" Long Stone," 4 
Longtree Hundred, 23 

Bedel of, 22 
Losemoor, 24, 35 

Manor of, 20, 94, 95 
Lover, Robert, 75 
Lowsley, — , 95 
Lutetia, 66 
Lycett, Dr. John, 5, 6 
Lyth, John, 164 

Mabon, Roger, loi 

Mael, William, 25 

Magot, William, 75 

Maid, Thomas, 96 

Maine, Duchy of, 16 

Mallard, Richard, 163 

Malmesbury Abbey, 117, 120 

Abbots of, 51 
Man, Prehistoric, 3-4 
Markham, Mary, 38 

Osborne, 38 
Marling, Nathaniel, 42 

S., 48 

Sir William, 137, 139 
Marling & Co., 159 
Mary, daughter of Edward I., 100 
Mary, wife of Henry V., 27 
Mather, Rev. Frank Albert, 55, 80 
Matilda, Queen, 16, 17, 18, 21 
Matson, Charles I. at, 88 

House, 124 
Mauleon, Stephen, 74 
Maydenstone, Walter de. Bishop, 49 
Mayo, John, 164 



" Mazer," Meaning of, 98 
Mears, T., 55 
Mechlin, 33 
Merchant's Mark, 64 
Mere, Sir John de la, 51 
Maud de la, 51 
Peter de la, 51, 117 
Sir Peter de la, 51 
Sir Robert de la, 51, 52 
Merino Sheep, 141, 153, 155 
Micklethwaite, J. T., 93 
Middleton, John de, 74, 82 
Miles, W. A., 137, 138 
Mills, John, 37 

Judith {nSe Sheppard), 37 
Widow, 47 
Minchinhampton — 
Abbey, 43 
Advowson, 44 
Association with Avening, i 
Barrows, 4 
Benefactions to, 71 
Board, Appointment of General, 

Boundaries, i 
Box Common, 5 
Chantries, 74 

Chantry Commission in, 83 
Chantry Priests, 73, 81-3 
Charities of, 89 
Church, 22, 49-57 
Altar, Ancient, 55 
Altar dedicated, 49 
Bells, 55, 165 
Brasses in, 63-6 
Halyday, 64 
Hampton, 63, 69-71 
Chantries in, 52, 81-3 
Chapel in Church-yard, 71 
Choir-stalls, 57 

Churchwardens' Accounts, 160-6 
Coffins, Stone, 53 
Effigies in, 50-51 
Galleries, 57 
Glass in, 56, 57 
Monuments, 63-8 
Obit for Halyday, 65-6 
Organ, 57 
Pulpit, 55 

Restoration of, 53, 55, 58 
Roodloft, 55 
St. Loe's Aisle, 52 
Septum wall, 55 
Stone slabs in (illus.), 53, 54 
Tombs in, 50-52 
Tower, 52, 53, 105 
Transepts, 50, 52 
Clothing Trade, 140-59 
Common, 5, 6, 72, 123-8 
and Alice Hampton, 71 
Bull baiting on, 126 
Geological section, 6, 7 
Height of, 10 

Minchinhampton — 

Common — 

Manorial rights, 124 
" Old Lodge," 124, 125, 173 
Race Meetings on, 126 
Roman Road, 172 
Tumulus on, 126 
Whitefield's Tump, 126, 127 

Delamere Manor, 117 

Earthworks near, 125, 126 

Ecclesiastical Districts, 48 

Epidemic of Fever, 58-61 

Epidemic of 1758, 61 

Fairs at, 26 

Fives Court, 174 

Geology of, 5- 11 

Golf Club, 123, 126 

Great Park, 123 

Half-Way House Inn, 174 

Hayward, Office of, 169 

Hyde Court, 118 

Hyde Farm, 42 

" Intruders " in, 77 

" Iron Mills," 68 

" Island," The, 116 

Lammas, The, 79, 80, 117, 118 

Lands at, 51 

Longfords, 120 
House, 149 
Lake, i, 2, 152, 153 
Mills, 140, 149-59 

Manor of, i, 16-19, 23, 24, 25, 33, 
38,39, 42, 71, 72, 165 
Deed of gift, 16-17 
Domesday Extracts, 19 
Granted to Baron Windsor, 35 
Granted to Syon Abbey, 30 
Sale to Samuel Sheppard, 35 
Under the Nuns of Caen, 21-26 
Under the Nuns of Syon Abbey, 

Manor House, 117-8 
Market, 26 

Market Houses, 70, 71, 83, 116 
Name of, 21 

Parish Clerk, Office of, 168, 169 
Park, The, 42 

Persecution of the Clergy, 84-7 
Pound, 167 
Quarries, 5 
Rectors of, 25, 38, 43, 45, 71, 

73-80, 165 
Rectory House, 43, 44 
Roads constructed in, 174, 175 
St. Loe's School, 51, 52, 117, 120- 

Saxon Remains, 13 
Sexton, Office of, 169 
Shard, The, 42 
Sheppard House, 123 
Situation of, i 
Springs, 8, 9, 10 
Tithes, 167 



Minchinhampton — 

Tythings, 65 

Vestry Clerk, Office of, 169 
Minutes, 167-70 

Water-supply, 8, 9, 10, 61 

Westfield, 42 

Whitefield, George, at, 126-8 

Wool trade, 116, 140-59 

Workhouse, Master of the, 168 
Monasteries, Suppression of, 31-2 
Montfort, William de, 99 
Montgomery, Roger Count of, 17 
Morin, Nicholas, loi 
Mortain, Robert of , 17 
Muston, Elisabeth, Abbess, 32 

Nailsworth, 2, 6, 10, 14, 15, 172 

Bridge, Road from, 172, 174, 177 

Chapel at, 121, 122 

Cloth Trade, 159 

" Forest Green," 2 

Institute, 10 

" Intruder " at, 77 

Manor of, 35, 36 
Neglesleag, see Nailsworth 
Neolithic Period, 3-4 
Nevile, George, 117 
Newman, John, 53 
Newton, Matilda, Abbess, 32 
Nicholas II., Pope, 21 
Nichols, William, 46 
Nicholson, William, Bishop, no, in 
North, George, 38, 39 

Isabel, 38, 39 

Joan, Abbess, 32 
Northleach, 130 

Nun's Hampton, see Minchinhamp- 
Nurligate, 174 
Nympsfield, 2 

Oldfield, Ann, 134 

Rev. E. C, 44, 55, 56. 57. 80 
Oolite, 6 

Meaning of, 9 

Painswick, 163 
Pakenhill, 65 

Palmer, Catherine, Abbess, 32, 33 
Paravicini, Francis de, 108 
Paris, Latin name for, 66 
Parisi, Tribe of, 66 
Paritor, Office of, 162 
Parke, Penning, 124 
Parker, James, 55 
Parkins, Adam, 97 
Parliament, Houses of, 10 
Parsons, — , 52 
Partridge, Sir Miles, 82 
Paschal Money, 160 
Pates, Richard, 82 
Paul, Sir George Onesiphorus, 47, 

Paul, Louis, 143 

Pearce, Mr., 118 

Pearse, W., 6 

Peasmarch (Sussex), 37 

Peckham, Sir Edmund, 75 

Peckham (East), 132 

Pell, Albert, 173 

Pembroke, Earl of, see Valentia 

Penda, King of Mercia, 13 

Pennebaria, see Pinbury 

Pensile Road, 10 

Pepys, Samuel, 104 

Perks, Nathaniel, 55 

Pertu, Hugo de, 17 

Pews, Traffic in, 45-6 

Philip and Mary, Titles of, 161 

Philippa, sister of Henry V., 28 

Picts, The, 13 

Pigott, Henry, 102 

Pinboume, see Pinbury 

Pinbury, 24 

Manor of, 16, 20, 23, 35 
Pinfold Family, 117, 120 
Monuments of, 68 

Edward, 68 

Mary, 68 

Misses, 79 
Pinfold Estate, 79 
Pit DwelHngs, 4 
Pitt, Joseph, 79 
Plaine, Plaigne, see Plajme 
Playne Family, 132, 133 

Mrs. A. T., 158 

Edward, 57 

Mrs. Edward, 57 

Capt. F. C, 120 

George, 55, 57 

Mrs. George, 57 

George Edward, 57 

G. F., 4, 5, 6, 10 

Iden (i.), 132 

Iden (ii.), 132 

Jean de la, 133 

Martha, 140, 141, 149 

Mary Ann, 56 

Peter, 46, 141, 151 

Thomas, 132, 140, 149 

William, senr., 2, 41, 42, 56, 57, 72, 
95. 120, 136, 140, 149, 151, 154 

William, jun., 154 

William, & Co., Firm of, 140-1, 

Wyatt, 132 
Pockmore, — , 163 
Pole, Cardinal, 32 

Henry, 53 

William de la, 27, 75 
Alice, his wife, 27 
Pollock, Martin Viner, 120 
Poole, Sir Giles, 97, 98 

Sir Henry, 35 
Port, Hugh of, 1 7 
Porter, Arthur, 82 



Portlock, — , 87 
Potter, William, 97 
Potyn, William, 74 
Powell, Mr., 56 

Thomas, 75 
Prehistoric Man, 3-4 
Prestbury, William de, 52, 73-4, 81 
Chantry of, 83 

Rev. William, 71 

Ragstone, 10 
Ralph, G., 55 
Reade, John, 75 
Rebecca Riots, 176 
Remigius, Bishop of Lincoln, 19- 
Rejmolds, Richard, 31 
Ricardo, David, 41, 42, 48, 56, 59, 
72, 80 

Mrs. H. D., 57 

Henry David, 57, 80 

Major, 40, 72, 80, 116, 120, 124 
Ridpath, George, 67 

Philip, 67, 68 
Roads, 171-8 
Robert of Normandy, 17 
Roberts, John, iio-ii 
Rodberge, or Rodbourge, Family of, 

Rodborough, i, 15, 45-8, 160, 161, 174 

Advowson of, 48 

Chapel, 65 

Church, 45-7 

Hill House, 47, 48 

Lectureship, 45 

Manor of, 19, 25, 35 

Manor House, 48 

Parish, 48 

Tabernacle, 128 
Rodenbeorg, see Rodborough 
Roger, Sir, the Priest, 161, 163, 164 
Rogers, Martyr, 164 
Roman Altar, 12, 172 

Military road, 13 

Occupation, 12-3 

Road, 172 

Villas, 13 
Rouen, 33 
Roughing, 146-7 
Rous, Sir John de, 74 
Rowden, John, 55 
Rudhall, Abraham, 55, 94 

John, 55 
Rupert, Prince, 84 
Rushenden, 74 
Russell, Lord John, 48 

Sagar, Steven, 102 
St. Briavels Castle, Constable of, 35 
Salanges, Roger de, 25, 73 
Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury, 

103, 104, 114 
Sandelle, John, 163 
Sands, Cotswold, 10 

Sanford, William, 106 
Sansome, Giles, 102 
Sapperton, i 

Manor House, 97 
Saxons, The, 13-15 
Scar Hill, 9 
Scots, The, 13 
Scouring Wool, 141-2 
Scuse, Jacob, 55 
Sears, F. W., 80 
Sedgwick, Professor, 6 
Selsley Hill, 174 
Selwyn Family, 88 

Ursula, 84 

William, 84 
Senedberg, see Sugley 
Sengedleag (St. Loe), 121 
Serf, Meaning of, 19 
Severeinson, Severin, 96 
Severn, River, i, 13, 14 
Seymour, Frances, 38 

Francis Lord, 38 
Shaftesbury, Lord, 62 
Sharyngton, Sir William, 82 
Shearing (Cloth), 147-8 
Sheppard, Family of, 37-44, 95 
Arms of, 42 
Monuments to, 68 
Pedigree of, 38 

Anne, 37 

Anne (ii.), 118 

Anne (n6e Darell), 38, 39 

Anne (n^e Webb), 38, 39 

Dorothy, 37 

Edward, 38, 40, 41, 44, 79, 106, 118 

Edward (ii.), 38, 42 

Elizabeth, 37 

Elizabeth (ii.), 37 

Elizabeth {nde Capel), 38 

Elizabeth (nSe Lee), 38 

Frances {n^Se Seymour), 38 

Isabel {nie North), 38, 39 

Jane (nie Horwood), 38 

John, 37, 39 

Judith, 37 

Mary, 37 

Mary {nSe Knight), 38, 43 

Mary (nSe Markham), 38 

Philip (i.), 37, 38, 39 

Philip (ii.), 38, 39, 78, 102, 103, 
105, 106, 112, 116, 118, 124, 125 

Philip (iii.). Rev., 38, 43-44, 46, 
79, 106, 119 

Philip (iv.), 38, 41, 42, 43, 152 

Philip (of Colesbourne), 39 

Philip Charles, 38, 42 

Rebecca, 37 

Samuel (i.), 35, 37, 38, 39, 47, 72, 
95, 124, 125 

Samuel (ii.), 38, 39, 78, 79 

Samuel (iii.), 38, 39, 40, 68, 106, 
107, 118 
Epitaph of, 40 



Sheppard — 

Samuel (iv.), 38, 40 

Samuel (son of Samuel i.). 39 

Samuel, of Horsley (i.), 37 

Samuel, of Horsley (ii.), 37 

Sarah, 37 

Sarah {n6e Cox), 38 

Will, 125 

William, 37 

William (of Hempsted), 37, 39 

William (of Hackney), 39 
Sheringham, Archdeacon, 104 
Shoes, Laws relating to, 66 
Shrewsbury, Earl of, 34 
Shrove, Edith, 97 
Shurmer, Samuel, 46 
Siddington, no 

Rector of, 109 
Siddington St. Peter's, Rector of, 109 
Siddons, Mrs., 116, 117 
Silchester, 13 
Silk, 144 

Silverton (Devon), 76 
Simon, 24 
Slie, Thomas, 53 
Slimbridge, Parson of, 74 
Sloper Family, 95 
Small, George, 46 
Smart, Mr., 177 
Smiccumbe, see Theescombe 
Smith, A. E. : Geology of Minchin- 

hampton, 5-1 1 
Smith, Dr. Daniel, 58, 59 

Dr. Southwood, 58, 59 
Smyth, Agnes, Abbess, 33 

John, 82 
Sodbury, Old, 20 
Somerwells, 140 
Southampton, 25 
Spettisbury, 34 
Spinning, 143 
Standish, Frampton's Tomb, 105 

Vicar of, 103, 104 
Stan well. Seat of Lord Windsor, 165-6 

Manor of, 35 
Stephens, Edward, 114 

Mary (n6e Hale), 114 

Rachel, 114 
Stemhold, Thomas, 82 
Stigand, Bishop, 17 
Stocks set up in London, 70 
Stone Age, 3, 4 
Stone, Building, 6, 9 
Stonehouse, 65 

Church, Bequest to, 65 

Manor of, 84 
Stotesbury, Robert, 157 
Strachan & Co., 159 
Stratford-upon-Avon, 99 
Stroud, 135 

Manor of, 35 

Mrs. Siddons at, 116 

Museum, 10 


Turnpike Trusts in Borough of, 

Water Company, 61 

Whitefield, George, at, 127 
Sturges Bourne Acts, 170 
Sturgion, Nicholas, loi 
Suffolk, Earl of, see Pole, William de 

Sugley, 15 
Swindon, i 
Swynfen, John, 106 
Syon Abbey, 27-35, 36, 71. 75 

Abbesses of, 31, 32, 75 
Syon Cope, The, 34 

Tabram, Miss, 121 

G. F., 9 
Tame, John, 130 
Tarrant, Manor of, 16 
Taylor, Rev. C. S., 18, 19 

Thomas, 76 
Tearle, The, 146, 147 
Termonde, Convent of, 32, 33 
Tetbury, 2, 162 

Bank, 136 

Church, Bequest to, 66 
Tewkesbury, Abbot of, 23 
Theescombe, 15 
Thomas of Gloucester, 24 
Thomond, Abbot of Tewkesbury, 23 
Thompson, Sir Henry, 62 
Thombury, Nathaniel, 106 

Rev. Nathaniel, 106-7 
Throckmorton, Thomas, 82 
Tidenham, 14 
Tiltups Bam, 174 
Timbrell, John, loi 
" Tinglestone," The, 4 
Tolls on Turnpikes, 175 
Tooke, Thomas, 88, 89 

Ursula (n6e Selwyn), 88, 89 
Charities of, 89 
Tortworth, Vicar of, 1 14 
Toucestre, Thomas de, 74 
Townsend, A., 55 
Trackways, Ancient, 171- 172 
Tracy, Richard, 82 
Trades of the District, 129-59 
Trelawny, Sir Jonathan, Bishop, 103 
Tresham, Clementina, Abbess, 32 
Trevis, Edward, 47 
Trowell, Thomas, loi 
Tumuli, 4 
Turnpike Bonds, 175 

Roads, 172 

Tolls, 175, 176 

Trusts, 173-7 
Twisden Family, 132 
Typhoid fever, 60, 61 
Typhus, 60 

Uley. 138 



Ulf , Prince of Nericia, 28 
Ulster, Maud Countess of, loi 
Umfreville, William, 102 

Valentia, Aylmer de, 74 
Varenna, William de. 17 
Verulam Family, 79 
Vespasian, 13 
Villein, Meaning of, 19 

Wachelin, Bishop, 17 
Wages in 1839, 138 
Waghom, Edward, loi 
Wales, Lord President of, 76 

Tribes of, 13 
Walgrave, Bridget, Abbess, 32 
Wantner, Abel, 39, 52 
Warmestree, Thomas, 78 
Warren, William de, 17 
Waterton, Catherine, 24 

Hugh, 24 
" Weather Stone," 6 
Weaving, 144-5 
Webb, Anne, 38, 39 

Mr & Mrs Sidney, 167,169, 171 

Thomas, 38, 39 
Wellhill, 174 

Spring, 8 
Wesley, Charles, 127 

Edward Pinfold, 79 
Weston, Mr., 174 
Whately, Rev. Charles, 55, 80 
W HUl, 172 
Whitchurch, 99 
White, John, 79 
Whitefield, George, 126-8 
Whitehead, Sir John, loi 

William, 42, 43 
Whiting, Giles, 94 
Wilfred, Bishop, 15 
Willett, Ralph, 78 
William I., 16. 17, 18, 21, 130 
William III., Allegiance to, 104 
Williams, — , 128 

George Lowsley, 95 

Willys, Richard, 75 
Winchester, Bishop of, 100 

Wool factory, 1 30 
Windsor Family, 117 

Andrew Baron, 35, 36, 165, 166 

Edward Lord, 102 

Henry Lord, 36 

Lord, 26, 33, 38, 39, 66, 164 

Margaret, Prioress, 33 

Thomas Lord, 35, 124, 125, 165, 

Walter, 164 

William Lord, 76 
Wingham, Canonry of, 74 
Witchell, Edwin, 5, 6, 8, 11 
Witcomb Villa, 13 
Wodeford, John, 75 
Woeful Dane Bottom, 14 
Wolverynhampton, Jordan de, 73 
Woodchester, 2, 15, 140, 174 

Rector of, 87 

Villa, 13, 172 
Woodroff, Robert, 47 
Wool, Australian, 155, 156 

English, 141 

German, 153, 154, 155 

Manufacture of, 129-139 

Prices of, 150 

Processes in Preparation of, 141-8 

Sorting, 154-5 

Spanish, 141, 149, 150, 151, 153, 
154, 155 
Worcester Cathedral, 15, 65 

Dean of, 78 

Prebendary of, 76 
Worden, Thomas, 77, 122 
Wulfflaed, 14 

Wulstan, Bishop of Worcester, 19 
Wyatt, Sir Thomas, 132 
Wye, River, 14 
Wygomia, William de, 100 
Wyke, Geoffry, 82 
Wysebeck, Thomas, 75 

Yngrow, John, 53 

RETURN TO the circulation desk of any 

University of California Library 

or to the 

BIdg. 400, Richmond Field Station 
University of California 
Richmond, CA 94804-4698 

2-month loans may be renewed by calling 

1-year loans may be recharged by bringing books 

to NRLF 
Renewals and recharges may be made 4 days 

prior to due date 


JAN 2 6 1993